Phosphorus

Phosphorous offers vital contribution to bone health similar to that of calcium. It is one of the major minerals and the body produces it abundantly.  An average person normally retains a pound and a half of calcium.  Phosphorous plays a role in every biological or cellular function in the body.  It works hand in hand with calcium in order to build and harden the bones and teeth.  The calcium to phosphorous ratio is two–to-one. The body needs phosphorous to create ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is a compound that controls the release of energy stored in cells.  It transforms proteins, fats and carbohydrates into fuel. It also maintains the blood’s acid balance or pH.  It turns fats into water soluble to enable them to enter the bloodstream.  The mineral also reinforces cell walls. And it aids in transporting nutrients and hormones all over the body. Due to its role in 2,3 DPG synthesis, phosphorous may lower the lactate accumulation by increasing oxygen release to the tissues.  A number of studies were conducted to determine the effect of phosphate salts to athletes.  It was found out that phosphate salt can increase aerobic metabolism in athletes.

Benefits that one can derive from phosphorous include:

  • Extra phosphorous supplements can help in such situations as: taking large amounts of antacids that contain aluminum, complications of diabetes, gastrointestinal malabsorption, kidney malfunction and severe burn injury or where there is significant loss of phosphorous.
  • It aids in burn recovery.
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved endurance
  • Maintains bone strength
  • Increase aerobic metabolism. There was a marked increase in maximal oxygen uptake and increased running and cycling endurance. Also, increased 2,3-DPG level and enhanced ability of the heart to pump blood have been observed.

 

Some important things to keep in mind before using phosphorous include:

  • Recommended daily allowance (RDA) for phosphorous is 700mg daily.
  • If you are taking antacid heavily, ask your doctor if you require phosphorous supplement.
  • Burn recovery patients should also inquire if phosphorous supplement is necessary.

 

Most people derive enough phosphorous from the foods they eat.  Foods that are rich in the mineral include: meat, fish, dairy products, cereals, grains and poultry even soft drinks particularly the colas contain the substance.  There are no known drug interactions with phosphorus except for one case and that is aluminum which contains antacids can absorb phosphorous.  It can cause diarrhea. But this is actually a sign that you do not have phosphorous deficiency.  Gastrointestinal side effects that could manifest include nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.  Doses of about 4 grams per day does not show any side effects according to the study conducted.

Take necessary caution by refraining from taking phosphorous supplements without medical supervision.  Having much more than the required levels of the mineral could result in dangerous imbalances particularly altering levels of hormones that could cause depleting calcium and phosphorous from bones.  People who drink large amount of soft drinks which has high phosphorous content lack enough calcium because they drink less milk. It is not advisable to take phosphorous if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.