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You just can’t live without it

Phosphorus has plenty of benefits for our bodies — it strengthens our bones, protects our cells and helps us make energy. Even better news: it is available in a wide range of food sources.

One of the most abundant minerals in our bodies, phosphorus is part of every cell membrane, and every cell in the body needs phosphorus to function normally. Phosphorus works closely with calcium to form healthy bones and teeth. It also helps the body make energy.

 Functions of Phosphorus

iStock_000016311675_LargeStrengthens bones and teeth. Phosphorus and calcium are close partners in forming healthy bones and teeth. When the amount of phosphorus we eat increases, so should our intake of calcium. We must maintain a balance of these two minerals for proper bone density and to prevent osteoporosis.

microscopic section of Testis T.S tissueMaintains and repairs cell tissues. We need phosphorus for the growth, maintenance, and repair of all tissues and cells,  and for the production of the genetic building blocks, DNA and RNA. It also helps reduce muscle pain after a hard workout.
one couple man woman exercising workout fitnessMakes energy. Phosphorus also helps produce ATP, the carrier molecule for storing and transferring energy in our cells.

Raw Salmon

heart shape cThe Institute of Medicine[1] recommends a daily intake of 700mg of phosphorus for adults, while youngsters aged nine to 18 should aim for 1,250mg every day. Protein-rich foods like meat and milk are good sources of phosphorus. Generally, a diet that provides adequate amounts of calcium and protein also provides an adequate amount of phosphorus.

Although whole-grain breads and cereals contain more phosphorus than that made from refined flour, this is a storage form of phosphorus called phytin, which is not absorbed by humans.

Food Sources of Phosphorus

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*Phosphorus from seeds, nuts and grains is 50% less readily absorbed than phosphorus from other sources.

Don’t overdose!

As phosphorus is so readily available in the food supply, deficiency is rare. However, when your body has very high levels of phosphorous, it can join with calcium in your blood to form deposits in your muscles and other soft tissues, causing them to harden. Phosphorous may also interfere with your body’s use of other minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc and can cause diarrhoea. Excessively high phosphorus levels may occur in people whose bodies have a severe dysfunction in the way they regulate calcium as well as those with severe kidney disease.


[1]The Health Promotion Board has not stipulated a recommended dose of phosphorus.

Posted by ezyhealth on Sep 2 2014. Filed under Nutrition, Wellness. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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