Phosphorus
Phosphorus

Sources Of Phosphorus

Seafood - tuna, mackerel, pike, red snapper, salmon, sardines, whitefish, scallops, shad, smelt, anchovies, bass, bluefish, carp, caviar, eel, halibut, herring, trout
Meats - liver (beef, chicken, hog, lamb), rabbit, sweetbreads, turkey, beef brains, chicken, eggs, egg yolk, lamb heart, kidney
Nuts/seeds - pinon, pistachios, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, filberts, hickory, peanuts, pecans
Vegetables - chickpeas, garlic, lentils, popcorn, soybeans
Dairy - cheeses
Grains - wheat bran and germ, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, oatmeal, brown rice, rice bran, rye, wheat
Miscellaneous - chocolate, kelp, yeast, bone meal

Roles In The Body

  • Bone structure - 80-85% of phosphorus in the body is located in the bones and teeth
  • Energy production - (ATP - adenosine triphosphate and ADP - adenosine diphosphate)
  • Cell membranes - (as phospholipids)
  • Genetic reactions - in DNA - deoxyribonucleic acid and RNA - ribonucleic acid
  • Buffering agent, to maintain osmotic pressure

Functions Of Phosphorus

Digestive - regulates absorption of calcium and a variety of trace elements. Phosphorus in excess has a laxative action
Nervous - source of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), component of the myelin sheath
Endocrine - interacts with vitamin D
Blood - red blood cell (RBC) metabolism
Muscular - adenosine triphosphate (ATP) needed for muscle contraction
Skeletal - component of bone and teeth
Immune - adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for leukocytes
Metabolic - energy production via phosphorylation reactions
Detoxification - in liver - via adenosine triphosphate (ATP)

Symptoms Associated With A Phosphorus Deficiency

arthritis tooth decay
fatigue stunted growth
fragile bones weakness, muscle
reproductive problems  

Symptoms Associated With A Phosphorus Excess

anemia (iron deficiency) hyperexcitability
arthritis irritability
calcium and magnesium deficiency tremors
diarrhea zinc deficiency

Synergetic Nutrients

Absorption - sodium, potassium, low calcium diet, vitamin D, parathyroid hormone, high fat diet
Metabolic - calcium, magnesium, B-complex vitamins (in energy production)

Antagonistic Nutrients

Absorption - calcium, aluminum, iron, magnesium, vegetarian diets,vitamin D deficiency

Hair Analysis Notes

High Hair Phosphorus:
  • An elevated phosphorus level is frequently indicative of excessive protein breakdown of body tissues. As proteins break down, phosphorus is released.
  • Phosphorus levels may increase temporarily as toxic metals are being eliminated in the course of a nutrition program.
  • Very high phosphorus (greater than 25 mg%) can indicate a serious metabolic disturbance.

Pubic hair samples often show elevated phosphorus readings. This is a characteristic of pubic hair.


Low Hair Phosphorus:
  • A low phosphorus level is frequently associated with inadequate protein synthesis.
  • Although most diets are adequate in phosphorus, those on low-protein diets or vegetarians may have a low phosphorus intake.
  • Zinc is required for protein synthesis. Often a low phosphorus level is associated with a zinc deficiency, cadmium toxicity, or zinc loss. When these imbalances are corrected, the phosphorus level improves.
  • A low phosphorus level may be due to poor digestion or assimilation of protein. This may be due to digestive enzyme deficiency, low hydrochloric acid level, or other factors.

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This material is for educational purposes only
The preceding statements have not been evaluated by the
Food and Drug Administration
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Copyright © 2012 - The Eck Institute of Applied Nutrition and Bioenergetics, Ltd.