Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Uses of Phosphorous in the Daily Diet: Phosphorus Health Benefits and Food Sources

Phosphorus is one of the most essential mineral in the body and is ranked second to calcium. Estimates suggest that about 80% of all phosphorus is present in the form of calcium phosphate in the teeth and bones. Though the deficiency of phosphorous is relatively rare, the condition can often be associated with a host of problems.

Phosphorus Supplements: Phosphorus Dietary Supplement

Phosphorus is available as potassium phosphate or sodium phosphate. Potassium phosphate exists as monobasic, dibasic, and tribasic potassium phosphate; whilst, sodium phosphate exists as monobasic, dibasic, and tribasic sodium phosphate. Some preparations blend together 2 or more of the forms. Medical supervision is extremely crucial when managing phosphorus deficiency.

Most multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplements do not have phosphorus, given that, such supplementation is usually unwarranted

Phosphorus Deficiency
can result in weak bones
Phosphorus Deficiency Symptoms and the Use for Phosphorus Supplementation

Deficiency of phosphorus is usually rare; though, it may be observed in individuals who take antacids which contain aluminum for the management of heartburns.

It may also be observed in individuals who are chronic alcoholics

A deficiency of the mineral results in demineralization of the bones, making them weak. Phosphorus plays an important role in absorbing calcium and utilizing it. In case of inadequate phosphorus in the body, the bones become weak and brittle. Likewise, the teeth become weak and fragile too. There may be discomfort in various joints of the body.

Loss of appetite and exhaustion are important deficiency symptoms as well. Tingling numbness, tremors, anxiety, weight loss and restricted growth are associated features.

 Phosphorus Uses and Phosphorus Health Benefits

  • Phosphorus has an important role to play in the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
  • It also participates in several vital functions of the body, such as energy metabolism, synthesis of DNA and the absorption and utilization of calcium.
  • Phosphorus plays a role in facilitating optimal digestion.
  • Phosphorus helps in the normal functioning of the kidneys and ensures proper discharge of wastes.
  • Adequate levels of phosphorous are essential to maintain normal brain functions.
  • The mineral facilitates maximum utilization of protein in the body and thus ensures proper growth as well as cellular repair. It also helps utilize carbohydrates and fats.
  • Phosphorus helps maintain a good hormonal equilibrium.

Natural Food Sources of Phosphorus
Phosphorus is easily available in most foods, especially high protein foods. Here’s a list of the foods that are packed with the mineral phosphorus:

    Beef is a great source of
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Lentils
  • Salmon
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Egg
The RDA for phosphorus is the same as that of calcium. On an average, it is 1000 milligrams for adults.

Phosphorus Supplement Side Effects

  • You may develop an allergic reaction after taking a phosphate supplement. Notify your doctor immediately if you experience the following: difficulty in breathing, swelling of the face, itching, giddiness or hives.
  • Other side effects that have been noted are: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and constipation. Sudden weight loss is seen in some cases too.
  • Fatigue and mood swings are rare side effects that are associated with the supplement.
  • Another thing to remember is that the ratio of calcium to phosphorus is important. Imbalance in the levels of calcium and phosphorus are closely linked to osteoporosis. So, make sure you consult a health care professional before you start phosphorus supplementation. To maintain proper balance, the ratio of calcium to phosphorus should be 2:1. Foods that are loaded with phosphorus but have relatively smaller quantities of calcium are soft drinks, red meat and poultry. When phosphorus levels are too high, calcium is lost in the urine.


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