Considering the diet in terms of nutrients, few people think about cobalt. This element is not often talked about when it comes to the top list of micronutrients important for health. Although in fact this mineral brings a lot of benefits to the body. And having learned more about the role of elements such as cobalt (Co), sometimes you have to reconsider your understanding of proper nutrition and the list of the most important substances for humans.
Functions in the body
Cobalt is included in the list of trace elements necessary for humans in microdoses. Absorbed at the level of the gastrointestinal tract. The body of an adult stores an average of up to 2 milligrams of the nutrient. Predominantly, Co stores are concentrated in erythrocytes, plasma, liver (most of all), kidneys, spleen and pancreas. It is also found in hair, fatty tissues, lymph nodes. It is excreted from the body with urine and feces.
The benefits of this nutrient are as great as those of vitamin B12. Are there signs of anemia? It's time to think about the chemical element called cobalt. He, being part of B12, can be the cause of this disease, which means that when replenished, help fight anemia. In addition, this element promotes the absorption of iron, which is also an important nutrient needed to maintain normal hemoglobin levels and overall health. The beneficial properties of cobalt include the ability to strengthen the cardiovascular system. It is important for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland - it is a necessary component for the production of the hormone thyroxine. Strengthens the immune system, promotes bone strength. Extremely useful for chronic fatigue, disorders of the digestive and nervous systems. Effective in treating muscles. It is used for certain types of cancer (artificial isotope cobalt-60).
Lack and excess
Cobalt poisoning is possible when high doses of a chemical element of inorganic origin enter the body.
Simply put, microdoses obtained from food cannot cause an overdose.
Various symptoms indicate that the body is suffering from the toxic effects of cobalt. Among the most common are:
- thyroid dysfunction;
- too high production of red blood cells, which leads to blood clots.
In addition, an excess of Co causesviolation of the activity of bone marrow cells, prevents the absorption of iodine (which is fraught with the development of goiter and hypothyroidism).
Cobalt overdose causes:
- diseases of the respiratory system (when cobalt in powder form enters the body);
- heart disease;
- male infertility.
If it so happens that excess cobalt has accumulated in the body, they will help to remove them:
- pic ;
- oatmeal decoction;
- decoctions of chamomile, wild rose, calendula, coriander, sea buckthorn;
- vegetables and fruits containing pectin.
Co deficiency is not such a big problem, provided that the body receives the necessary portions of B12. It is more difficult for vegetarians to provide themselves with adequate norms of vitamin B12 and cobalt, since plant foods are not able to supply enough of these nutrients.
In addition, there is an opinion that the activity of absorption of B12 depends on the level of Co in the body. With a lack of a micronutrient, there is a risk of a decrease in the level of the vitamin. And the deficiency of both substances is, as a rule, anemia and disruption of the nervous system.
Cobalt deficiency can be signaled by the following symptoms:
- weakness in arms and legs;
- bleeding gums;
- loss of appetite and weight;
- pallor of lips, gums, tongue;
The daily requirements of the body for CO are quite low, and while maintaining vitamin B12 at an appropriate level, there is no need to additionally saturate yourself as cobalt.
According to the recommendations of nutritionists, the daily requirement of an adult for this micronutrient is no more than 5-8 micrograms (ideally, from 0.1 to 2.4 micrograms per day). A dose exceeding 30 mg is considered lethal. It is especially important to carefully monitor the level of Co in the blood for bodybuilders, people diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia, as well as after serious injuries, burns.
Cobalt and vitamin B12
There is a close relationship between cobalt and vitamin B12, on which the proper functioning of the body depends to a large extent. It is known that it is the substances of group B that affect the functioning of the nervous system, metabolic processes, and the functioning of many organs. The scientific name of B12 is cobalamin, which already suggests the connection of this vitamin with cobalt. Indeed, Co, like no other substance, helps the body extract the maximum benefit from B12. In particular, it contributes to adequate production of red blood cells.bodies and the functioning of nerve cells.
Cobalt and vitamin C
Cobalt and ascorbic acid is one of the most beneficial combinations for the body, as it significantly increases the absorption of vitamin C.
Ascorbic acid deficiency is known to cause scurvy, baldness, and decreased immunity. Would you like your body to get as much vitamin as possible from citrus fruits, greens and other foods rich in ascorbic acid? Take care that the body does not lack cobalt.
Cobalt in products
The amount of cobalt in food directly depends on the area where the vegetables were grown, in particular, on the amount of the trace element in the soil. As for ruminants, the bacteria present in their bodies are able to transform cobalt salts into vitamin B12.
The activity and functions of Co are essentially similar to vitamin B12, which means that cobalt plays an important role in the process of erythropoiesis - the production of red blood cells. Also, products containing natural Co contribute to the accumulation of ascorbic acid, retinol, niacin and phylloquinones in the body.
The body replenishes cobalt reserves mainly through vitamin B12. Significant reserves of this microsubstance are found in meat, liver, kidneys, shellfish, oysters and milk. But still, the best supplier of Co is ocean fish and seafood. Vegetarians should take this nutrient from legumes, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, beets, greens. When choosing healthy fruits, it is better to give preference to figs. This fruit is especially useful for those who need a quick restoration of cobalt balance. There are also reserves of the substance in cereals rich in vitamin B12. True, according to biologists, the body absorbs only a fifth of the resulting cobalt, the rest is excreted.
Modern pharmacology offers Co in the form of mineral supplements and multivitamin complexes. Cobalt and B12 are available as injections for severely anemic patients.
When compiling a menu of products containing cobalt, it is important to supplement the diet with foods rich in copper and manganese. Such a food mix will protect against early aging and the occurrence of gray hair. For this, legumes (beans, green peas), fish (sardines, sea bass, pike, mackerel, flounder, cod), seafood ( squid, oysters), vegetables (green leafy, potatoes, beets), meat (lamb, beef, poultry). From drinks, it is better to give preference to cocoa, green tea, milk. As a cobalt-containing dessert, strawberries are perfect.
|Product name (100 g)||Cobalt content (µg)|
|Seafood and fish|
Sample menu for replenishing cobalt reserves in the body
Breakfast: eggs (fried eggs or soft-boiled); a slice of whole grain bread with butter; cocoa.
Lunch: vegetable soup; baked fish; rice; a fresh vegetable salad.
Dinner: liver stew; mashed potatoes.
Before going to bed: a glass of kefir / yogurt / curdled milk.
Breakfast: Hercules/rice porridge with fruits; tea.
Lunch: pea soup; stewed rabbit; buckwheat; vegetable salad.
Dinner: fried hake (any other fish); stewed cabbage with carrots and tomatoes; fresh juice.
Before going to bed: a handful of berries.
Taking care of the replenishment of cobalt reserves, it is worth remembering that the full assimilation of the microsubstance is possible in combination with manganese and B12-vitamin. Therefore, it is important to supplement the menu for the week with fruits, berries, sour milk. There is a high concentration of useful elements in blueberries, currants, lingonberries, raspberries, cranberries, plums, bananas, figs, prunes, lemons, and also in dark-colored honey.