Posted on Feb 12, 2019, 9 p.m.
The forgotten mineral cobalt has been found to offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits according to two American doctors.
Cobalt is a crucial component in batteries that power mobile devices, however it doesn’t get credit for having two important attributes that contribute to overall health which are having anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
According to a study conducted by the two American doctors cobalt contains these such properties and a person can benefit from it if cobalt was taken in small amounts. Dr Michael Glade and Dr. Michael Meguid suggest that the human health supporting properties of dietary cobalt are underappreciated.
The two doctors note: “Regulatory agencies consider dietary requirements for cobalt to be determined by dietary requirements for vitamin B12, which reflects reliance on determinations of vitamin B12 status to determine cobalt status, to the exclusion of possibility that cobalt may play biological roles independent of and in addition to sequestration within vitamin B12 molecules”.
Cobalt and its compounds are classified as being “possibly carcinogenic” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of W.H.O. The two doctors argue that this classification was “based on extreme intakes in animal studies and no evidence of human carcinogenicity of cobalt and its compounds existed”.
According to the two doctors “ Systemic antioxidant and anti-inflammatory processes are stimulated as cobalt ions are consumed in amount greater than what is provided as vitamin B12, acting through stimulation of HO-1 degradation of heme into biliverdin and CO, the endogenous enzymatic production of CO from heme is safe”. Antioxidant activities of cobalt indicate high scavenging abilities against hydroxyl free radicals and superoxyl radicals.
Multinational materials technology Umicore suggests recycling an estimated 1.6 billion supply of battery metal cobalt could secure demand for use of millions of electric vehicles, and there is a mine of cobalt that remains untapped. Billions of dismissed end of life mobile devices could be utilized to power millions of vehicles. Right now there is a need to put in place mechanisms to motivate people to return their disused mobile devices such as a non-refundable deposit on mobile devices until returned as only 5-10% are returned and collected for recycling.
Prices of cobalt doubled last year making car makers wonder how to unfold other possible sources of cobalt. More than half of the world supply of cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo before it is shipped to China for refinement and manufacturing into batteries.
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