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Cobalt and your health
Unlike most others essential nutrients, the importance of cobalt (trace mineral, Co) comes mostly from it being a necessary ingredient of another essential nutrient - B12 vitamin. However, neither human body, nor other animals, or plants, are capable of synthesizing the vitamin; the "know-how" still belongs only to some microorganisms - certain varieties of bacteria, yeast and algae. Hence food supply and body level of cobalt are not directly related to the level of B12.
Other than being a B12 component, cobalt has its own separate roles, related to the functioning of arterial walls, as well as its interactions with other nutrients. Thus while there is no official DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes, the most recent set of dietary recommendations set by the government) for cobalt, it shouldn't be neglected when assessing your nutrient status. Neither deficiency, nor excess, are harmless. If your body has a metabolic glitch resulting in excessive accumulation of this mineral, it can result in cardiovascular symptoms, asthma and anxiety.
On the other hand, low cobalt levels may cause elevated homocysteine, a body-produced amino-acid with the bad habit of damaging arterial walls which, if extensive, promote arteriosclerosis due to the accumulation of protein/cholesterol "patches" with which your body tries to repair the damage.
Cobalt - as well as B12 - can trigger skin sensitivity, or allergic symptoms (even asthma) in sensitive individuals. There is quite a few materials containing cobalt thus, while sensitivity to it is rare, it is an important piece of information for those who may be affected.
Main natural cobalt food sources are dairy products, sea food and liver. Its absorption - as well as that of B12 - is lowered by insufficient stomach acid (HCl) levels.
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