Phosphorus

Around 700 g of phosphorus is present in the human body; of which 85% is found in the bones, 15% in soft tissues (fat, muscle and connective tissues) and in the teeth.
Phosphorus is closely linked to calcium metabolism. Phosphorus, together with calcium, is responsible for supportive functions of the bones.  The ratio of phosphorus and calcium intake should be about 1:1.
Today’s eating habits result in a tendency for the body to absorb more phosphorus than calcium. Therefore, vegetable and fruit consumption optimally help the body to offset its high phosphorus levels, due to the very low phosphorus content in these foods.

Functions in the Body

  • Component of cell membranes and DNA
  • Important for bones and teeth
  • Supplies the cells with energy
  • Serves a buffer in the blood, urine and cells

Deficiency Symptoms

  • Growth disorders
  • Skeleton deformation
  • Soft or brittle bones
  • Phosphorus supply is considered to be assured in all age groups. However, deficiency symptoms occur mainly following medication use (with high aluminium or calcium content).

Overdose

Tissue calcification in eye lenses and in various organs, such as the heart and kidneys.
High phosphorus levels can diminish calcium levels in the body, which can lead to tetany (disorders in motor skills and sensitivity, nervous anxiety, nerve and muscle hyper-excitability).

Interactions

+ Vitamin D promotes phosphorus absorption
– Iron, calcium and aluminium diminish phosphorus absorption

Sources

Milk, milk products, processed cheese, condensed milk, meat, fish, eggs, cereal products, legumes, nuts, cocoa and/or chocolate products.

Recommended Daily Amounts

Young people 1250 mg
Adults 700 mg
Adults 65 years old and over 700 mg

«5 a Day» helps you in meeting your body’s daily mineral and trace elements requirements.

700 mg of phosphorus are provided by 550 g of peas, or 660 g of mushrooms, or 840 g corn, or 875 g of sugar peas, or 910 g salsify or Brussels sprouts.
The following foods are low in phosphorus (< 15 mg): apples, watermelon, pineapple, blueberries, grapefruit, pears and green chilli peppers.