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Phosphorus | health benefits | symptoms of deficit

Basic characteristics of phosphorus

Phosphorus is a macro element, which is always associated with calcium, because of the synergistic action with the development, growth and sustainability of the skeletal apparatus.

The name phosphorus comes from two Latin words - phos and pheros which mean bringer of light, because the characteristic of the phosphor is to glow in the dark.

Of the total amount of phosphorus in the body, 85% is located in bones and teeth. The remaining 15% is located in the soft tissues, joints, muscles, organs (heart, brain, kidneys).

Sources of phosphorus in food

Phosphorus is quite present element in foods, both plant and animal origin. According to that, phosphorus deficiency rarely comes , because the quantities of phosphorus in food which daily take are quite sufficient.

Foodstuffs of vegetable origin rich in phosphorus are:

- Walnuts, almonds
- Sprouts and seeds
- Cereals
- Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- Beer yeast
- Soybean flour
- Peanuts
- Brown rice and potatoes

Phosphorus is quite present element in foods, both plant and animal origin. According to that, phosphorus deficiency rarely comes , because the quantities of phosphorus in food which daily take are quite sufficient.

Foods of animal origin rich in phosphorus are:

- Milk, cheeses, yogurt
- Eggs
- Chicken, beef
- Cod, canned fish
- Red meat

Phosphorus in plant foods is much better absorbed than from foods of animal origin.

Phosphorus absorption from the diet is provided in the small intestine, and for its normal adoption requires vitamin D.

Health Benefits of Phosphorus

- Phosphorus participates in metabolic processes of energy transfer to cells.

- Together with calcium participates in the process of mineralization of bone and teeth. In the bones and teeth, phosphorus is in the form of calcium phosphate.

- The heart muscle contractility dependent on the presence of phosphorus.

- Genetic material is made of nucleic acids; in their composition must come phosphorus.

- Very important role of phosphorus is synthesis of collagen. The bones, joints, cartilage, ligaments, skin and eyes are made in the certain part of the collagen. Collagen synthesis is closely related to the content of phosphorus in the body.

- In the form of phospholipids (phosphorus combination with fatty acids), phosphorus participates in the creation of cellular membrane cells and their permeability for nutrients. The presence of phosphorus allows the entry of nutrients inside the cell and cellular diet.

- Phospholipids are also important in the prevention of clotting and blood coagulation. In addition, phospholipids prevent the occurrence of stroke, thrombosis and aggregation of blood.

- An integral part of the bile is a substance identified as lecithin; a lecithin formation is closely related to the presence of phosphorus. When there isn't enough phosphorus, there will be strong possibility to come to the formation of gallstones.

- The presence of phosphorus is important for the metabolism and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins - A, E, D.

Phosphorus deficiency symptoms

As we have said, the deficit of phosphorus is generally rare case, since phosphorus is found in most foods that we consume every day. 

However, certain conditions and diseases may be predisposing factor for the lack of phosphorus - alcoholism, diabetes, starvation.

Also, poor absorption of phosphorus occurs in people who have Crohn's disease or celiac disease, or have problems with the absorption in intestines.

What are the symptoms of phosphorus deficiency?

- Decreased appetite

- Anemia

- Muscle weakness

- Rickets in children

- Osteomalacia in adults

- Poor immunity

- Stiff joints and muscle numbness

- Chronic exhaustion and nausea

- Variations in body weight

- Heart disorder

- Nervosa and irritability

- Brittle teeth and poor quality nails and hair

Is there possibility of intake large amounts of phosphorus?

There is, and that's what happens with the ingestion of carbonated beverages that contain phosphates, the variety of canned foods, snack foods, which contain phosphates either. Taking supplements based on phosphorus without consulting a doctor is also considered as an inadequate intake of phosphorus.

It should be remembered that the ratio of calcium and phosphorus in the bones is 2: 1, so that intake of calcium and phosphorus through food should be balanced. Any increased intake of phosphorus harms calcium absorption.

The correlation between magnesium and phosphorus also exists, because it is proven that magnesium deficit means the deficit of phosphorus in the body.

The interaction of phosphorus with drugs

- Medicines to reduce stomach acid reduces the absorption of phosphorus

- Taking salicylates (aspirin) with phosphorus is unfavourable because phosphorus decreases their excretion, thereby increasing their concentration in the body, which can have a toxic effect.

- The relationship between sodium and phosphorus - people, who have a more difficult operation or kidney problems and edema, shouldn't take sodium and phosphorus together

- Vitamin D promotes the absorption of phosphorus

- Magnesium, calcium, iron reduce the absorption of phosphorus


  1. Thanks for taking your time in preparing this post and its so fascinating and educative. Phosphorus has so much health benefit which i really dont know much about but your post has really helped. Free Healthcare and Fitness Ideas


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