Blog: Vitamins, Minerals, Deficiencies
by meetmaria

Phosphorus Benefits, Dosage, Deficiency, Sources

Phosphorus is essential for the formation of sounds bones, strong teeth, and healthy blood. It plays an important part in all metabolisms.

Date:   12/7/2006 5:42:21 AM   ( 16 y ) ... viewed 2663 times

Phosphorus: An adult human body contains about 400-700 gm of phosphorous as phosphates, most of this occurs in bones and teeth. About two-thirds of it is found in chemical combination with calcium in the bones and teeth, and the rest in other tissues. The excess of iron, aluminum and magnesium can impede and block storage of phosphorus, making it ineffective.

The retention of phosphorous depends on various factors like amount and form of phosphorus ingested, calcium content, and vitamin D intake. The kidneys are the major routes of excretion for absorbed phosphorus builds up in excess in the body; it is excreted in the urine. The intake of higher fat diet and crystal sugar can disturb balance of calcium and phosphorus.

Phosphorus is mineral colleague of calcium in the body, and calcium alone cannot provide all the benefits claimed for teeth, bone, brain, and nerves. Phosphorus is essential for proper utilization of iron, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, besides calcium. Normally the content of inorganic phosphorus would be 4.0-to 5.0-mg/100 ml in children and 2.5 to 4.0-mg/100 ml in adults.

Phosphorus is a soft, non-metallic, non-luminous, and non-inflammable element. It is present in the body only in combination with other substances. It is a part of adenosine-di/tri-phosphates, which are energy transport systems in the cells. It helps in formation of phospholipids-lecithin and cephalin, which is integral parts of cell structure and also act as intermediates in transport and metabolism of fats. It is also a vital constituent of the nucleic acid and nucleoproteins of the body cells.

Phosphorus is absorbed in the small intestine. Phosphorus present in an organic combination such as phytic acid is hydrolyzed to inorganic phosphate before absorption. This phytin phosphorus is very slightly absorbed, as the enzyme phytase is not available in the human digestive juices.

Phosphorus is essential for the formation of sounds bones, strong teeth, and healthy blood. It plays an important part in all metabolisms. It is involved in the utilization of carbohydrates and fats, and liberates their energy at the rate demanded by the body. It regulates the acid-alkaline balance of the blood, which is so important for the maintenance of health and prevention of disease.

Phosphorus provides fast relief in fracture of a bone, helps in healing process and halts loss of calcium due to injury. It helps kidneys to excrete waste, and pushes up nervous health. Phosphorus plays a complementary role with calcium. In combination with calcium it feeds the nerves. Hardly any our vital processes take place without phosphorus, since it is indispensable for all active tissues.

Phosphorus is important for proper functioning of heart and kidney. It aids the growth of hair. 

Recommended Daily Allowance: The RDA of 500 mg for children and 800-1200 mg for adults is recommended. It is suggested that phosphorus intake should be at least equal to or perhaps twice as much as calcium intake. There is no risk of phosphorus shortage in a normal diet, unless large amounts of white flour are consumed as the main cereal. There are no known toxic effects of phosphorus.

Dietary Sources: The phosphorus is found in cereals, whole meat brad and flour, wheat germ, soyabeans, almonds and other nuts, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, grapes, citrus fruits, blackberries, cranberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelons. A large part of phosphorus present in vegetables foods occurs in combination with phytin and is available to the body only to the extent of 40-60 percent. The phosphorus present in animal foods like meat, eggs, and milk are absorbed to a greater extent.

Deficiency Indicators: Phosphorus is widely distributed in foodstuffs: its deficiency rarely occurs. The deficiency of phosphorus causes poor appetite, pain in bones, fatigue, and weak muscles. A phosphorus deficiency may cause loss of weight, slow growth, improper brain and nerve function. Its deficiency is found in alcoholics, and persons taking too much of Aluminum Hydroxide antacids, and high carbonate foods.

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