In elemental form, it is a hard gray metal. Its only well-recognized function is as a component of
Cobalt, present in the body only as a component of
Cobalt serves some of the same purposes as
Cobalt also participates in the biotin-dependent Krebs-cycle, the process that the body uses to break down sugars into energy.
Medically valid uses
Cobalt, as a component of
There are currently no beneficial claims based upon cobalt as a single element.
When present in nutritional supplements, cobalt is usually measured in micrograms (mcg). The average adult intake of cobalt is 5 to 8 mcg per day. No safe Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for cobalt has been established yet.
Trace amounts of cobalt are present in most foods. Foods high in
Cobalt supplements are best taken in the form of
A cobalt deficiency is ultimately also a
Side effects, toxicity, and interactions
Cobalt is toxic to the heart muscle and can result in toxic cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease) after excessive exposure.
Polycythemia, an increase in red blood cells, may be a symptom of cobalt excess. Untreated polycythemia can result in congestive heart failure.
Excessive intake of cobalt may produce a goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland) and reduce the activity of the thyroid. Cobalt may cause hyperglycemia (increased blood sugar).
Since cobalt is a key component of
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult a physician before taking any mineral supplements.
There are no known significant food or drug interactions associated with cobalt.
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