The Importance of Phosphorus

PhosphorousPhosphorus is an important mineral for the body. It is the primary anion inside the cell and plays an important role in the function of red blood cells, muscles and the nervous system. Phosphate is needed for the proper metabolizing of carbohydrates, proteins and fats and is involved in acid-base buffering. The bones store approximately 85% of the body's phosphate. The tissues throughout the body store the rest of the phosphate.

Eating phosphorus rich foods is the best most natural way of acquiring this important mineral. Here is a list of foods that contain phosphorus:

  • All-bran Cereal
  • Almonds
  • Beef
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashew Nuts
  • Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Dried Fruit
  • Egg
  • Garlic
  • Halibut Fish
  • Hard Potatoes
  • Herring
  • Kidneys
  • Legumes
  • Lentils
  • Liver
  • Meat
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Poultry
  • Roe
  • Salmon
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Turkey
  • Wheat Bran
  • Wheat Germ
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Yogurt
  • Phosphorus is absorbed in the GI tract and is excreted in urine. A small amount is excreted in feces. In the body, phosphorus is converted into phosphate.

The parathyroid hormone regulates both phosphate and calcium levels. The amount of phosphate in the blood directly effects the level of calcium in the blood. They are inversely related. If the serum calcium concentration increases, the concentration of serum phosphorus decreases and vice versa. The normal range of phosphorus in the blood is between 2.5 mg/dL and 4.5 mg/dL.

The kidneys regulate the amount of phosphate in the blood. High levels of serum phosphate is a possible sign of kidney malfunction.