Phosphorous is one of the most abundant minerals in your body, next to calcium. These two minerals work together to building strong bones and teeth. Did you know that 85% of phosphorus is found in your bones and teeth? Phosphorus is a key mineral that helps filter out waste through the kidneys and plays an essential role in how the body uses and stores energy. It is also needed for the production of our genetic building blocks, RNA (ribonucleic acid) and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), maintenance, repair and growth of our cells and tissues.
Taking a calcium supplement could interfere with the absorption of phosphorus. So it is important to understand the RDA. According to the Australian Government National Health and Medical Research, the RDA of Phosphorus is:
- Adults need 1000 milligrams of phosphorus daily
- Children between the ages of 9 and 18 need 1,250 milligrams per day because bone development and formation is rapid at this stage of life
- Children ages 4 to 8 need 500 milligrams per day
- Children ages 1 to 3 need 460 milligrams per day
- Children ages 7 to 12 months need 275 milligrams per day
- Infants 0 to 6 months should have 100 milligrams per day
Health Benefits of Phosphorus
- Helps the production of bone by helping with phosphorylation, which is a chemical process linked to amino acids signaling proteins which stimulate the growth of bone.
- Helps in stimulating glands to balance the hormones.
- Filters out waste in your kidneys
- Helps with digestion
- Is an electrolyte
- Maintain, grow and repair tissue and cells
- Help with muscle contraction
- Helps maintain a regular heartbeat
- Urination and excretion
- Aids in proper brain functioning and cognitive growth
It is important to speak to a nutritional specialist to find out what foods are high in phosphorus, but here are a few foods rich in phosphorus. Meat, legumes, nuts, peanut butter, tuna, pork, sunflower seeds, rice, white bread, potatoes, peas, broccoli and dairy products are a few foods that are rich in phosphorous.
Health conditions such as diabetes, starvation, and alcoholism can cause levels of phosphorus in the body to fall.
Crohn’s disease and celiac disease make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients.
Symptoms of phosphorus deficiency include:
- Loss of appetite
- Bone pain
- Fragile bones
- Stiff joints
- Irregular breathing
Studies suggest that too much phosphorus in your body (which is more common), can do more damage than having too little phosphorus in your body. If you don’t consume enough calcium with phosphorus it can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. “There is a very delicate balance between calcium and phosphorus is necessary for proper bone density and prevention of osteoporosis”, according to a study at the University of Maryland Medical Center