Published: 08/28/2018 - Updated: 03/08/2020
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei, PhD
Dietary Phosphorus (represented by the letter “P” in the periodic table of elements) can be found in all of the body’s cells and fluids. Second to calcium, phosphorus is the most abundant mineral in our bodies, present in approximately 650 mg. It can also be easily found in foods. This important element fulfills fundamental bodily functions like those mentioned below:
- Participates in cellular division and growth.
- Participates in bone maintenance and formation, along with good tooth development.
- Nourishes the brain, improving memory (phosphorus is known as “brain food“).
- Takes part in almost all metabolic and energetic processes in the body.
- Helps maintain blood PH slightly alkaline.
- A very important component of DNA, forms part of all cell membranes, especially brain tissue.
- Increases endurance for people who work physically demanding jobs and athletes, providing a more competitive physical condition.
- Helps normal milk secretion in mothers.
- Participates in the formation of muscle tissue and cellular metabolism.
Good amounts of phosphorus can fortunately be found in almost all foods. Below, we will give you a few options:
- Seafood: fish, salmon, tuna, etc.
- Pollen, honey, royal jelly, and their derivatives
- Dried fruit: sunflower, sesame, pistachio, almonds, walnuts, granola, etc.
- Legumes: soy, broccoli, carrots, alfalfa, and other legumes in varying percentages.
- Grains: oats, spelt, amaranth, whole grain rice, yeast, wheat bran
- Tofu and soy derivatives
- Dried fruit
- Whole grains and legumes
Since phosphorus can be found in the majority of foods, this deficiency is very rare, although symptoms can be present with a deficiency:
Symptoms of dietary phosphorus deficiency:
- Lack of energy
- Kidney disease
- Poor memory
- Shakes and dysarthria
- In some cases, anorexia and respiratory problems
- Vitamin D deficiency
Between approximately 800 and 1200 mg, especially in people younger than 24 years of age.
These two must be balanced in the body, as either an abundance of lack of either of these minerals affects the body’s ability to absorb the other. An excess of phosphorus, for example, reduces calcium absorption. It has been proven today that frequent ingestion of antacids causes decreased phosphorus levels in the body.
The body naturally releases phosphorus through the urine.
About the author