What Is Cobalt & What Foods Can I Find It In?

Cobalt is an ultratrace mineral and an essential macronutrient. But it’s a relatively rare element.

An adult human body contains about 1 mg of cobalt, 85% of which is in the form of vitamin B12.

It’s the cobalamin that is measured in foods. Other cobalt content in foods is not well documented.

Cobalamin deficiency is very common among vegetarians, vegans, and other plant-eating populations because the easiest way to consume cobalt is from animal sources.

Table of Contents

Cobalt Is Essential

Cobalt is an essential mineral and important for our overall health. In fact, cobalt is the first nutrient that we ingest when we are born.

Cobalt is essential to human life. Our bodies need cobalt for the production of protein and enzymes, and it is needed in our muscles to create energy.

In addition to that, our body needs cobalt for the functioning of the nervous system. Our nervous system is responsible for all our body functions.

Cobalt helps our body produce energy.

Cobalt is an important component of the iron and vitamin B12 (folic acid) complexes.

You can find benefits of cobalt in Cobalt, Co: 5 Research-Backed Benefits

Cobalt In Animals

Cobalt is important for the health of ruminant animals.

Bacteria in the stomachs of ruminants transform cobalt into cobalamin, which is the form of cobalt that humans need. (source )

Deficiency Of Cobalt

Strict vegetarians and vegans have long been known to be at risk of cobalamin deficiency, which develops slowly over many years. (source )

Because natural food sources of cobalamin are limited to animal foods. (source )

Symptoms of cobalamin deficiency are anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

Even neurological changes like tingling in the hands and feet, difficulty maintaining balance, depression, confusion, and poor memory. (source )

Deficiency in elderly people

Cobalamin deficiency is the most common vitamin B12 deficiency in the elderly population, and is associated with various neurological diseases including peripheral neuropathy, dementia, and depression.

However, the detailed mechanisms of cobalamin deficiency-associated neurological disorders are still not fully understood.

Foods You Can Find Cobalt, Co In

You find Cobalt, Co mostly in legume products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most Cobalt, we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top-ranked list of foods that contain Cobalt, Co.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.