Maintaining phosphorous levels in our body is important for bone, teeth, DNA, RNA, and as phospholipids it is a component of cell membrane structure and ATP, one of the important energy sources of our body. It also helps to filter waste and repair cells and tissues.
Deficiency of phosphorous is called hypophospatameia. Anemia, muscle weakness, bone problems like bone pain, rickets and osteomalacia, loss of appetite, irritability or anxiety, tiredness and increased infection risk are caused by deficiency of phosphorous in our body. Identified through a regular blood test, phosphorous deficiency is rare and is found mostly in people with hyperparathyroidism, kidney tubule defects, and diabetic ketoacidosis. Some medications like insulin, ACE inhibitors, corticosteroids, antacids and anticonvulsants can also cause phosphorous deficiency. Recommended dietary allowance ranges from 100 mg for newborns, 275-500 mg for children up to eight years, 1250 mg for teenagers, and 700 mg for adults.
Excess of Phosphorous
People with chronic kidney disease may have trouble in elimination of phosphorous and therefore phosphorous and calcium deposits may occur indicating higher levels of serum phosphorous. High serum phosphorous even on the higher side within the normal range has recently been associated with heightened cardiovascular risk.
Sources of Phosphorous
Phosphorous is present in most food stuffs we eat and hence its deficiency is a rare occurrence. Foods rich in calcium and protein such as meat and poultry, fish, milk and other dairy products, eggs are good sources of phosphorous. Non-protein sources of phosphorous include whole grains, potatoes, garlic, dried fruit. Whole grain versions of bread and cereals are richer in phosphorous than processed flour based ones. Phosphorous when bound to phytate is poorly absorbed by the body. Such food sources include nuts, grains, and beans.
Importance of Phosphorous
Phosphorus has an important part in vitamin B and D metabolism, and in the regulation of other minerals in our body like calcium, iodine, magnesium, and zinc. Phosphates can treat some type of urinary tract infections and also prevent calcium stones. If you suspect imbalance in your vitamin-D metabolism, get that Phosphorous level also checked.