Phosphorus, a vital mineral is the second most abundantly found in the human body next to calcium. The body needs phosphorus for performing several bodily functions such as repairing tissues and cells and filtering waste. It is naturally available in a wide range of dietary sources.
Phosphorus in the form of phospholipids is a component of bones, teeth, cell membrane, DNA, and RNA and body’s key source of energy ATP. It also holds a significant role in the regulation of gene transcription, enzyme reactions, and maintenance of normal pH in extracellular fluid. Phosphorus makes about 1 to 1.4 % of fat-free mass in the human body, which accounts for 85% in bones and teeth and the remaining 15% in blood and soft tissues. Phosphorus is mainly available in foods in two form –phosphates and phosphate esters. Also Read: Calcium: Functions, Food Sources, Supplements, Deficiencies And Toxicity
Functions Of Phosphorus Include:
- Maintains healthy and strong bones
- Make energy and helps the body use and store energy
- Mobility of muscles and relieves muscle pain after exercise
- Build strong teeth
- Flush out waste from the kidneys
- Regularizes and balances the use of different vitamins such as B, D and minerals like iodine, magnesium and zinc.
- Maintain a normal heartbeat.
- Proper nerve conduction
Deficiency of phosphorus is very rare and the effects of low levels of phosphorus include anorexia, anaemia, muscle weakness, poor immunity and anxiety. However, too much phosphate in the diet can be toxic as well and can lead to diarrhoea and hardening of organs and tissue. Apart from these high levels of phosphorus can affect the body’s ability to properly use other minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Too high or too low levels of phosphorus can lead to complications such as heart disease, joint pain and fatigue.
The recommended dietary allowance of phosphorus for a normal adult is 700 mg per day. It is available in a spectrum of natural food sources and also in the form of dietary supplements
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