Phosphorus is one of the essential minerals, due to its integral use in nearly every one of our biological and cellular processes.
Phosphorous helps to deliver energy to every single cell, and works with calcium to produce and maintain strong and healthy bones and teeth (including the formation of tooth enamel). With the exception of calcium, phosphorus is the most abundant mineral found in the human body
The vast majority of phosphorus (85%) is found in our bones and teeth, with the remaining 15% being distributed across our bloodstream and organs. As well as the work that it does alongside calcium, phosphorus also interacts with many of the other nutrients that we ingest, helping us to get the very best effect from our vitamin intake.
In addition to the uses already mentioned, phosphorus helps with the contraction of the heart muscle and promotes healthy kidney function.
Phosphorus - where can I find it?
Phosphorus can be found in most of the things that we eat but is especially prevalent in carbonated soft drinks. Foods with high levels of phosphorus include:
- Brewer’s yeast
- Dairy products
How much phosphorus?
Because so many foods are abundant in this essential nutrient, phosphorus supplementation is rarely required; in fact, we regularly consume at least twice as much as we need. The recommended amount of phosphorus that we should have in our daily healthy diet is the same for both men and women, at 550 mg.
What happens if I don't get enough phosphorus?
It is virtually impossible to become deficient in phosphorus, so it's not a nutrient that you need to worry about as much as many of the others. If your body has good levels of vitamin D, the phosphorus that you ingest as part of your daily diet will be much more effective at doing its various jobs. However, if you regularly take in excessive levels of phosphorus, your body may struggle to make the most of the calcium that you ingest - eating large amounts of junk food could put you at risk of this.