Cobalt is essential
for humans because it is a part of vitamin B-12. This form of cobalt
is obtainable from micro-organisms or from animal sources. Vegetable
sources of cobalt are more important to animals that are ruminants (sheep
and cattle). Cobalt deficiency in humans is like vitamin B-12 deficiency,
with anaemia and nervous system problems. As little as 0.1 microgram
cobalt as vitamin B-12 per day is needed by adults. Total cobalt intake
may be in a range from 10 to 1800 micrograms per day. Cobalt in a different
chemical form (i.e. not as part of vitamin B-12) will stimulate blood
formation, but this is probably not a normal action.
When cobalt was
used to stabilize beer froth, it was found to have a toxic effect on
the heart. Its toxicity, at cobalt intakes of about 8000 micrograms
per day, probably arose from its interaction with alcohol itself, and
other nutritional problems created by alcohol.
and adequate range of intake has not been specified.
57: COBALT CONTENT OF SOME FOODS