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Cobalt Information

The biological function of cobalt came to light with the discovery of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin).

Radioactive cobalt is absorbed from the intestine and quickly excreted by the kidneys. How the human body utilizes cobalt is obscure. In herbivorous animals, the intestinal bacteria take up cobalt and synthesize vitamin B12 which then becomes available to the animals. In men and carnivora" who depend on preformed vitamin B12 in the food, this does not occur.

The cobalt content of our food is high.) Cereal grains usually have 6-8 micrograms (102-136 nmol), beans 18-47 micrograms (305-795 nmol), and peas 14-42 micrograms (238-713 nmol), per 100 g. Cobalt deficiency seems unlikely in man; pernicious anemia, which responds to vitamin B12, is not due to deficiency of cobalt.

Cobalt given in high doses to premature infants produces a moderately large goiter.

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