1. Phosphorus is an abundant mineral present in the body. It is found mostly intracellular and in bones and teeth. We get ample amount of Phosphorus from dietary sources. The kidneys remove the excess Phosphorus. Though mostly ignored, this mineral is essential for many vital functions in the body.
2. Functions are primarily :
– Strengthen bones along with Calcium
– Detoxifies the body by helping the kidneys to eliminate the wastes.
– Maintain the ph balance
– Improves digestion
– Assists in the production of energy molecules ATP and releases the energy by breaking the phosphate bonds
– RNA and DNA synthesis
– Needed for growth and development (especially children)
– For Cognitive health
– For dental health
3. Phosphorus level is essential in the body with a standard range of 2.5 to 4.5 mg/dl. Usually, excess Phosphorus gets eliminated by the kidneys. But when the kidneys are weak like in chronic kidney diseases, the extra level in the body can cause damage to organs. High level of Phosphorus can pull the Calcium from the bones, making them weaker and brittle. High level of Calcium and Phosphorus can cause calcium deposits in the heart, blood vessels, eyes and lungs. Such an individual has a higher risk of stroke and heart attack.
4. Sources: Plant sources are mainly in the form of phytates. Other sources are dairy, cereals, meat and fishes.
Familiar sources available: Lentils, cheese, yoghurt, almonds, halibut, turkey, chicken and beef.
A healthy adult requires about 700mg/day.
Growing children, pregnant and breastfeeding women require more of Phosphorus for proper growth and development.
5. Hypophosphatemia: When the serum level is below 2.5mg/dl.
Causes: Usually, the deficiency is rare as enough of Phosphorus is available from food sources.
Certain Conditions where Hypophosphatemia occurs:
Reduced intake in the diet,
Vitamin D deficiency, alkalosis,
People who have renal insufficiency (acute tubular necrosis)
People on renal therapies.
People on parenteral nutrition
The symptoms are Fragile bones, bone pain, stiff joints, irregular breathing (arrhythmia), anxiety, fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability, tingling and numbness.
Usually, dietary sources are advised for deficiency. If severe, clinically treated with parenteral supplementation.
6. Hyperphosphatemia: When the serum level is more than 4.5mg/dl.
The causes are:
Excess oral sources,
Renal insufficiency like in Chronic kidney diseases
Excess use of laxatives,
Cell lysis like in tumour lysis syndrome,
The symptoms are Anorexia, neuromuscular cramps, tingling, calcification of soft tissues, joints, cornea, blood vessels (like in ESRD end-stage renal disease), Arterioslecrosis,
It is usually recommended by Physician to limit the dietary sources, use of phosphate binders, renal replacement therapies like Haemodialysis depending on the actual cause.
This post gives general information about understanding the importance of Phosphorus in our body. It’s not for clinical purpose or recommendation.
Thanks for reading.
Blessings and much love to all 💐