Why do we need Phosphorus?
What is Phosphorus?
Phosphorus is an exceptionally important mineral which is barely mentioned, when compared with other minerals that we need to survive. The most prolific mineral in our bodies is calcium, with phosphorus coming a close second. Phosphorus makes up 1% of an adult’s body. Phosphorus and calcium work closely together, making strong teeth and bones. Nearly 85% of our body’s phosphorus is found in our bones and teeth, with smaller amounts found in cells and tissue. Phosphorus helps our bodies perform 100s of tasks, such as filtering waste and helping keep cells and tissue healthy.
Our bodies absorb less phosphorus when our calcium levels are too high and vice versa. We also need vitamin D for phosphorus absorption.
Helps Absorb and Balance Vitamins and Minerals
Phosphorus helps us balance use of vitamins, especially vitamins B and D, and also helps use utilise minerals such as iodine, magnesium and zinc. It is essential for the successful utilisation of nutrients from the food we eat, especially those containing phosphorus.
Phosphorus enables the metabolism of carbs and fats which boosts our energy levels. It’s also a vital ingredient to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the molecule used to carry energy.
Kidneys and Phosphorus
One of the functions of our kidneys is to remove excess phosphorus from our blood stream, keeping phosphorus levels balanced.
Other Important Functions of Phosphorus
- Filters out waste in the kidneys
- Produces DNA and RNA — the body’s genetic building blocks
- Assists in muscle contraction
- Maintains a regular heartbeat
- Supports nerve function
- Reduces muscle pain after exercise
- Helps balance hormones
Symptoms of Phosphorus Deficiency
- Loss of appetite
- Weight change
- Anxiety and depression
- Low energy levels
- Numbness, tingling or burning in fingers and/or toes
- Bone pain
- Joint pain/inflammation/stiffness
- Excessive fatigue
- Dental cavities