Minerals Guide – COBALT
Cobalt (symbol Co) is a mineral that is essential for the proper functioning of the human body. For example, the mineral cobalt is necessary to produce red blood cells and maintain nerve function. While cobalt deficiency is rare, consuming foods rich in this mineral is still essential.
What is Cobalt?
Cobalt is a gray metal in the soil and always appears in nature in association with nickel and usually also with arsenic. In industry, the most important cobalt minerals are smaltite (CoAs2) and cobaltite (CoAsS). However, the chief technical sources of cobalt are residues called speisses, obtained in the smelting of arsenic ores of nickel, copper, and lead.
The element cobalt (not the mineral, Co2+) is a bluish-white ferromagnetic metal (a magnet attracts it) that is converted to cobalt oxide, CoO, when in contact with atmospheric oxygen. Plants take up the metal and convert it into the cobalt mineral, Co2+, which has absolutely no connection with arsenic or any other heavy metal because the ion’s chemical and electrical properties are entirely different from that of the metal.
Plant-derived ionic cobalt is an important trace mineral required by the body because it is a part of vitamin B12 called cobalamin. Only tiny amounts of cobalt are needed, so the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for daily intake hasn’t been established. However, the average adult needs 5 to 8 mcg of cobalt per day, obtained from various foods.
Cobalt’s Function in the Body
Cobalt is essential for red blood cell synthesis and the optimal working of the nervous system. It is also needed in energy metabolism, thyroid hormone regulation , and cellular iron absorption. It’s also essential for the immune system to prevent infections. Cobalt also participates in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, as well as the building of proteins. In the nervous system, the mineral prevents demyelination, which can lead to multiple sclerosis.
5 Cobalt-Rich Foods
We can only get cobalt from the plants that uptake the mineral from the soil they grow in or from the animals that eat these plants. Here are five delicious cobalt-rich foods that can help you meet your daily needs:
Are Eggs Cobalt-Rich Foods?
According to the ScienceDirect website , technicians have developed a new analytical method for the determination of cobalt at trace levels in egg yolk and Vitamin B12. The results were found in the range of 105–114% with 0.30–7.6 standard deviation values (n = 3). Does that mean anything? It probably does to some people, but to the layman, it’s gibberish. Nevertheless, it shows how difficult it is to analyze trace mineral concentrations.
As cobalt is still present in most farm soils, most of us get enough of it through the above foods and others, such as kidney meat, cabbage, lettuce, kale, and dried fruits. Therefore, cobalt deficiency usually does not occur in humans.
The test results on a Sizzling Minerals sample show that each wafer contains 92.8 mcg of cobalt, or ten times more than the estimated RDA. So, if you don’t like the above foods, you can get more than your cobalt daily requirement with this refreshing fizzy drink – plus at least another 74 minerals!
Resources: 1. science direct