You must have heard or read a lot about iodine, how iodine is necessary for thyroid gland which conducts many important functions of the body such as physical growth and development, control of body temperature, metabolic activities etc. But this aspect and usefulness of the element called cobalt will be almost unknown which I am going to say next, The answer to this question will surely astonish you.
Vitamin B12 has gained a lot of attention in recent times due to:
- being essential,
- not readily available
Although it is needed in very small amounts, it is not found in vegetarian foods and like vitamin D, it cannot be made in the body. So the special thing is that one cobalt atom is found in every molecule of this vitamin-B12.
Its chemical formula is C63H88CoN14O14P (carbon63-hydrogen88-cobalt-nitrogen14-oxygen14-phosphorus).
Although a very small amount (about 2-2.5μg) of Vitamin-B12 is required daily but it helps in very important functions in our body. It plays an essential and important supporting role in the formation of DNA and RNA. Vitamin-B12 helps in the maturation of red blood cells (RBCs) produced in the bone marrow. Plays a supporting role in the proper development of the nervous system. Think how important it is!
Now it can be easily guessed how many dangerous problems can arise due to lack of such essential vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause serious and irreversible damage to the brain and nervous system.
Symptoms such as feeling tired and weak, dizziness, difficulty walking, depression, poor memory, poor reflexes, confusion, breathlessness, headache, pale skin, unusual sensations, etc. can be linked to vitamin B12 deficiency.
Such problems can be seen at an older age (especially over 60 years). Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause symptoms of mania and psychosis. Apart from this, there may be a weakened immune system, decreased fertility and blockage of blood circulation in women.
Plants do not need it, so they do not manufacture it and it is not found in vegetarian foods. Yes, it is produced by some bacteria found in the stomach (digestive system) of the human body, due to which it is supplied to some extent in vegetarians. For this reason, vegetarian people are more prone to problems due to its deficiency.
Another problem with vitamin B12 is that its bioavailability is very low, making it difficult to meet its needs through supplements or nutritional supplements, even in very small amounts. Well beyond this, this topic becomes the domain of work of scientists and doctors.
In addition, cobalt is used in the production of many alloys, in the production of magnets, in magnetic recording media, as a catalyst in the petroleum and chemical industries, as a drying agent for paints, and as an ink. The “cobalt blue” color is used in dyeing porcelain, pottery, glass, tiles, jewellery, etc. Its radioactive isotope cobalt-60 is used in medical treatment and to preserve food.