Ultra Trace Mineral Cobalt May Help Prevent Some Cancers

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Cobalt in a nutshell:
Cobalt is vital for the structure of vitamin B12 .  It may also be helpful in blocking some signals sent out by growing tumors.

Best source of Cobalt for Juicers
We don’t recommend trying to supplement your diet with cobalt.  Our bodies probably get plenty from our natural diet, and breaking down vitamin B12.  An excess of cobalt may not be great for your health.

Cobalt is a rare metallic element that is a critical component of the molecular structure of vitamin B12. Some nutritionists have suggested that it may be an ultratrace mineral important to human health, but there is no good evidence that anyone needs cobalt in any form other than vitamin B12.

Alternative names: Cobalt. Not to be confused with cyanocobalamin, methylcobalamin, or hydroxocobalamin, all of which are forms of vitamin B12.

What Is Cobalt?cobalt-two-blue-bottles-xs

Cobalt is a shiny, hard, silver-gray mineral used to make alloys stronger. Cobalt has been used for over 5,000 years to tint glass blue, and it was very important in the manufacture of early Chinese blue and white porcelain. It is also a key component of the vitamin B12 molecule.

What Does Cobalt Do in the Human Body?

Everyone needs vitamin B12, which contains cobalt. We have to consume this vitamin pre-formed in food.

The human body also uses cobalt to make an enzyme called methionine aminopeptidase 2, also known as MetAP2. Not a lot is known about this enzyme except that it blocks some of the signals growing tumors send to nearby tissues to grow their own blood supplies through the process of angiogenesis. As an angiogenesis inhibitor, MetAP2 may fight certain kinds of cancer. It does not seem to be important in human health except to people who have metastatic cancer.

Do We Need a Separate Source of Cobalt in Our Diets?

Scientists believe that our bodies get the cobalt they need to make MetAP2 by breaking down vitamin B12, and that we do not need a separate source of cobalt in our diets. Excesses of cobalt, on the other hand, can cause serious complications in the central nervous system.

Parkinson's disease, in particular, may be caused in part by exposure to excessive amounts of cobalt. In the 1960's, use of a cobalt compound to prevent foaming of beer was linked to severe cases of cardiomyopathy (destruction of the heart muscle) in Canada. Cobalt can also cause a form of skin irritation known as contact dermatitis. Taking any kind of supplemental cobalt (other than vitamin B12) cannot be recommended.

About Andy Williams

In a processed food culture, simply eating may not be enough. Dr. Andy Williams is a scientist with a strong interest in Juicing and how it can supply the body with the nutrients it needs to thrive in modern society. You can subscribe to his free daily paper called Juicing The Rainbow and follow him on Facebook orTwitter.

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