Positives of Phosphorus

Phosphorous, a mineral, helps build strong bones and teeth. Phosphorous is also involved in the release of energy from fat, protein, and carbohydrates during metabolism, and in the formation of genetic material, cell membranes, and many enzymes.

The main inorganic component of bone is calcium phosphate salts while cell membranes are composed largely of phospholipids. While phosphorous assists the body in vitamin use (especially some B group vitamins), it also is involved in converting food to energy.

According to recent USDA surveys, the intake of phosphorous by women 35 to 50 years of age and men 19 to 50 years of age averaged above their RDA. Average phosphorous intake by women 19 to 34 years of age was about 1,000 milligrams per day.

A good food source of phosphorous contains a substantial amount of phosphorous in relation to its calorie content and contributes at least 10 percent of the U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (U.S. RDA) for phosphorous in a selected serving size. The U.S. RDA for phosphorous is 1,000 milligrams per day.

Phosphorous is lost in cooking some foods even under the best conditions. To retain phosphorous:

  • Cook foods in a minimal amount of water
  • Cook for the shortest possible time
  • Roast or broil lamb, veal, pork, and poultry

Herbs and spices that contain phosphorus are black pepper, cayenne, chili, cinnamon, ginger, mustard seed, turmeric, sage, thyme, cumin, coriander, dill, allspice, fennel, fenugreek, basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, peppermint, curry, garlic, paprika, nutmeg, savory, chives, caraway seed, tarragon, anise, saffron, parsley and chervil. (Source: Nutrition Data)

Beef keeps the same amount of phosphorous regardless of cooking method. 

Where you get phosphorous: Milk, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, whole grains, seeds, nuts, milk, carbonated soft drinks, broccoli, apples, carrots, asparagus, bran, brewer’s yeast and corn contain a good source of phosphorus.

DRI or RDA: 800 mg to 1,200 mg for adults. Ingesting dosages of phosphorus exceeding 3 to 4 grams may be harmful as it can interfere with calcium absorption, such as the high level in fizzy soda drinks.

Deficiency of phosphorus

Deficiency of this element is unusual but may have symptoms varying from painful bones, irregular breathing, fatigue, anxiety, numbness, skin sensitivity and changes in body weight. A ratio of 2:1 in the diet between phosphorus and calcium can cause low blood calcium levels.

If calcium is in short supply relative to phosphorus there may be increased risks of high blood pressure and bowel cancer.

Read More: Essential Nutrients