Atomic Number 27

Did you know

  • Cobalt is a component of Vitamin B-12 and is vital to the function of our nervous system; it helps to maintain the Myelin Sheath, a material that helps to insulate our cells and to ensure that they work properly. The nervous system is the main coordinator of the actions and processes of the entire human body.
  • Vitamin B-12 is also essential for healthy blood cells, and for the prevention of anemia, a condition where the body does not have enough hemoglobin, which is an important protein in red blood cells. Red blood cells deliver oxygen to tissues and organs.

Who suffers from anemia?

  • 10% of people 65 and older, and 50% of people in nursing homes
  • 20% of pregnant women in the US
  • More than 3 million people total in the US

Without cobalt, the nervous system cannot function, and the body can't make enough healthy red blood cells

How much do I need, and where can I get it?

  • No recommended daily allowance of it has been established yet, but in nutritional supplements, Cobalt is usually measured in micro-grams, and the average adult intake of Cobalt is 5 to 8 micro-grams a day.
  • To provide your body with enough cobalt, it might be enough to simply eat more of the foods that contain it. The following tasty foods are all good sources of cobalt:


Seafood - sardines, salmon, herring

Meat/Organs - liver, kidney

Nuts/seeds - peanuts

Vegetables - peas, okra

Dairy - butter, cheese, milk

Grains - buckwheat, wheat bran, wheat germ

Miscellaneous - molasses, raw sugar, cornstarch, cornmeal


  • If you can't eat enough cobalt-containing foods, or feel that you are at risk for a major deficiency, a supplement containing cobalt or vitamin B-12 would be a good option. There are many daily supplements available that contain vitamin B-12. The Country Life brand supplement is only $5.99 for a bottle. The Good 'n Natural brand supplement is only $4.99 for a bottle.

Don't overdo it

  • Excessive cobalt intake can result in a "goiter", or in the enlargement of the thyroid. Too much cobalt can also lead to hypoglycemia, or increased blood sugar. Other problems of taking too much cobalt include loss of body weight, loss of appetite, and the excessive production of red blood cells.

But Too Little...

  • also a problem and will lead to anemia, the serious blood condition that we previously discussed. Some of the major side-effects of anemia are numbing, fatigue, and tingling in the extremities. Lack of cobalt also causes damage to the central nervous system, which is the part of the nervous system that controls the activity of all parts of the human body.


"Anemia Fact Sheet." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.

"Anemia Statistics for Patient Populations." Anemia Statistics. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.

"About Country Life." Buy Country Life. Lucky Vitamin Web. 05 Nov. 2013.

Wilson, Lawrence, MD. "COBALT – THE VITAMIN B12 ELEMENT. The Center For Development, Inc., Nov.-Dec. 2011. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.