The name cobalt from the German world kobold , which means "goblin", and this mineral has played more than a few tricks on humans. In 1612, German miners found cobalt ore in silver mines. Thinking it contained copper, they heated the ore,releasing sickening clouds of toxic arsenic gas.

In 1926 doctors discovered that large doses of liver could cure pernicious anemia. When the constituent in liver responsible for the cure - vitamin B12 - was isolated in 1948, scientists found that cobalt was an important part of the molecule. Although cobalt can be toxic as an inorganic mineral, it is essential to life when incorporated into vitamin B12.

Cobalt Function

The cobalt-containing vitamin B12 is required for the normal production and functioning of cells. It is particularly important in the bone marrow, nervous system, and gastrointestinal tract.

Cobalt Dosage.

Adults require approximately 1 microgram of cobalt - as a component of Vitamin B12 - per day.

Cobalt Deficiency Signs and Symptoms

Dietary deficiency is uncommon, usually only found in alcoholics, strict vegetarians, and pregnant or nursing women. The deficiency more often stems from an inability to absorb rather than a lack of the substance.

Signs of Vitamin B12 deficiency area; sore tongue, weight loss, body odor, back pains and tingling arms and legs.

Food Sources.

To be biologically useful, (organic) cobalt must be obtained from foods such as liver, kidneys, milk oysters, clams, or sea vegetables.

It also can be obtained from Vitamin B12 supplements. Vitamin B12, which is the largest and most complex family of B vitamins, is important for converting fats, carbohydrates, and protein into energy, for assisting in the synthesis of red blood cells and is critical for the production of RNA and DNA.

Vitamin B12 / cobalt takes several hours to be absorbed into the digestive tract and is not produced by plants, but can only be supplied through animal products.


Bergner P. 1997."The healing power of minerals,special nutrients, and trace elements" p.110-112

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