Phosphorus

Phosphorus

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Overview

Phosphorus is an essential mineral for humans. Since your body doesn’t produce it, you must obtain it through food (or supplements). Every cell in the body requires phosphorus for normal function.

Importance

Phosphorus has many functions in the body including:

  • Forming the structure of bones
  • Energy transfer (phosphorylation is essential)
  • Hormone production
  • Enzyme production
  • Cell signaling
  • Buffering acidity
  • Binding site activity for hemoglobin.

Food Sources

Phosphorus can be found in several foods including:

Deficiencies

Symptoms of phosphorus deficiency are very rare. Populations at risk include premature infants, those who use antacids, those with alcoholism, and those with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus. In these individuals, symptoms include muscle weakness, fatigue, and tooth decay.

However, your individual response could be different. If you suspect a health problem or deficiency in certain nutrients, please see your primary health care provider (doctor, naturopath, etc). They can help unravel the complexity of your physiology.

Excess/Toxicity

Phosphorus toxicity is very rare but may result in soft tissue calcification.

However, your individual response could be different. If you suspect a health problem or an excess of certain nutrients, please see your primary health care provider (doctor, naturopath, etc). They can help unravel the complexity of your physiology.

Recipe

For recipes rich in phosphorus, check out any of the Encyclopedia of Food entries for food items listed above!

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At a Glance

Phosphorus is an essential mineral the body can only obtain through food. Every cell in the body requires phosphorus. Some of its important functions include assisting with bone formation, energy transfer, hormone production, cell signaling, and more. Whole grains, eggs, berries, bananas, tomatoes, salmon, and dairy products are all excellent dietary sources of phosphorus.