Cobalt forms part of the structure of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 has several important functions including making red blood cells and releasing energy from the food you eat.
Good sources of cobalt
Cobalt is found widely in the environment. Good food sources of cobalt include:
- green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach
- cereals, such as oats
How much cobalt you need
You should be able to get all the cobalt you need from your daily diet.
Cobalt is a major part of the structure of vitamin B12. Therefore, if you get enough vitamin B12, you will also get enough cobalt.
Adults need about 0.0015mg (1.5 micrograms) of vitamin B12 a day.
Taking too much cobalt
Having 1.4mg or less a day of cobalt supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.
Having too much cobalt could be harmful. However, cobalt is currently not used in supplements in the UK and the amount we get from food is not harmful.
Having high amounts of cobalt for long periods of time could affect the heart and might decrease fertility in men.