Atomic Number 27
Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
A safe recommended daily allowance of cobalt has yet to be established, but the average intake of cobalt per day is 5 to 8 micrograms (mcg).
The main food sources of cobalt are nuts, seafood, dark leafy greens, and dairy.
Functions of Cobalt in the Body
Cobalt functions as a component of vitamin B-12, which is essential for producing red blood cells and maintaining the nervous system. Cobalt helps the body by being a part of the Krebs cycle, which is the process that the body uses to break down sugars into energy.
Too Much or Too Little
A cobalt deficiency is essentially the same as a vitamin B-12 deficiency, which can lead to anemia, fatigue, numbness, and a decrease in nerve function.
Too much cobalt can result in polycythemia, an increase in red blood cells. If left untreated, this could cause congestive heart failure. Excessive amounts of cobalt can also lead to hyperglycemia (Increased blood sugar), and reduce the activity of the thyroid gland.
Cobalt supplements can be taken in the form of vitamin B-12, which can be found at the local pharmacy. At Target, a 100-ct bottle of Nature Made Vitamin B-12 costs $6.79. A daily supplement consists of one pill, which would cost about $0.68.