How Phosphorus Is Used By The Body?


How does the body use Phosphorus?

Hello All!!!

You would have heard about phosphorus and phosphate being mentioned in connection to food. Ever wondered what they actually are? Yes, phosphorus is an essential mineral. But there are a lot of things that you are not aware of! Want to know How Phosphorus Is Used By The Body? Without much ado let us proceed.

What exactly is phosphorus?


Phosphorus is a mineral that is present in several foods, right from cheese to beans. However, phosphorus is not just in food. It is a common substance in the environment and also in the human body. Do you know that 1% of your body weight is made by phosphorus?

What are phosphates?

The most common forms of phosphorous are phosphates. Phosphates can be found in things like dish washing detergents, baking ingredients and cheeses that have been processed. Phosphates are also a supplement form of phosphorus that can be consumed when you don’t naturally get enough phosphorus due to some kind of disease or illness.

How Phosphorus Is Used By The Body?

Phosphorus works with calcium for building bones. The phosphorus and calcium balance is the most essential thing. In order to be at its best and the strongest, the body needs the right amount of calcium and phosphorus. With too much of calcium the body absorbs less of phosphorus and when there is too much of phosphorus, calcium absorption is affected. You require vitamin D to properly absorb phosphorus.

What are the symptoms to low phosphorus levels?

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When phosphorus levels in the blood get too low you suffer from a condition called hypophosphatemia. It makes your energy levels drop and cause muscle weakness, fatigue and inability to exercise. When along with low phosphorus there are low levels of calcium and vitamin D it leads to weaker and softer bones over a period of time. This can lead to joint and muscle pain. The levels of phosphorus are controlled tightly in the body. Low levels mean that there is another disorder.

What are the symptoms of excess of phosphorus?

When you have a high level of phosphates in your blood you suffer from hyperphosphatemia. You may experience joint and muscle pain, along with muscle weakness. You may have itching and red eyes. In severe cases there can be symptoms like constipation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

When you have too low or too high amounts of phosphorus, you should seek medical advice.

Getting the right amount of phosphorus

Doctors will tell you how to lower your phosphate levels. Even lifestyle changes can work. Exercise enough, remain hydrated, eat low phosphorus foods.

Foods that have high phosphates

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You can easily find foods high in phosphates and they are:

  • Milk
  • Chocolate
  • Yoghurt
  • Instant pudding
  • Ricotta and American cheese
  • Nachos
  • Bran cereal
  • Blueberry muffins

Low phosphorus foods

Most of the fresh fruits and veggies are low in phosphorus and they should form an important part of your diet. Cornflakes, popcorn, bread and eggs are other foods low in phosphorus.

Phosphorus and kidneys

Normally functioning kidneys remove excess phosphorus from your blood and keep the levels normal. However, when the kidneys don’t work right, your phosphorous can get high. This can be dangerous. Such people need dialysis.

I think we have had a glimpse of what phosphorus is, why it is important and the food sources that have low and high amounts of it.

Hope you found this post ‘How Phosphorus Is Used By The Body’ informative!

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