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MINERALS: Phosphorus

Overview of Minerals | Calcium | Chromium | Copper | Iodine | Iron | Magnesium | Zinc | Manganese | Molybdenum | Phosphorus | Potassium | Selenium | Other Trace Elements



Functions of Phosphorus

  • Is essential for bones.
  • Is important for energy production.
  • Is essential for proper absorption of B-complex vitamins.
  • Increases energy & endurance levels.
  • Makes us feel good.

Deficiency of Phosphorus

  • General weakness.
  • Bone pain.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Irritability.
  • Low resistance to infection.

Recommended dietary allowance for Phosphorus

See Recommended dietary allowances for minerals.

Food Sources of Phosphorus

Any foods rich in Calcium like milk, cheddar cheese and sardines, plus Brewer's yeast and wheat germ. The relative contributions of food groups to phosphorus intake are: 60% from milk, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs; 20% from cereals and legumes; 10% from fruits and fruit juices; 4% from alcoholic beverages; and 3% from soft drinks and other beverages.

Toxicity of Phosphorus

A diet containing a 2:1 dietary ratio of phosphorus to calcium can cause low blood calcium (hypocalcemia) and secondary hyperparathyroidism with excess bone resorption and bone loss in animals. Human breast milk, with a lower phosphorus content than cow milk, is considered better suited to the needs of the infant.