The body’s second most abundant mineral, it is widely essential to virtually every process in the body. For example, it is necessary for utilization of Niacin and Riboflavin, and for nucleoproteins during cell division. It is also essential for bones, teeth and proper functioning of nerves. Phosphorus is particularly useful in the phospholipids of lecithin to balance cellular and blood acidity and to help break up and transport cholesterol and fats. The brain and nerves are composed primarily of phospholipids indicating a clear, proven connection to mental stamina and intelligence. Useful quantities of phosphorus are bulky and not optimally employed as an isolate supplement. Food sources of phosphorus are best. Lecithin, Nutritional Yeast, Eggs and Whole Grains are primary sources. While phosphorus is generally plentiful in the diet, delivery of phosphorus in the phospholipid form as in these foods seems especially beneficial to the brain, heart and circulation, longevity, youthfulness and health in general.
Role of Phosphorus in your 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 phospolipids)
- 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)
Phosphorus Deficiency Symptoms
arthritis, fatigue, fragile bones, reproductive problems, tooth decay, stunted growth, weakness-muscle
Phosphorus Excess Symptoms
anemia (iron deficiency), arthritis, zinc deficiency, diarrhea, hyper excitability, tremors, irritability, calcium and magnesium deficiency.
Absorption – sodium, potassium, low calcium diet, vitamin D, parathyroid hormone, high fat diet
Metabolic – calcium, magnesium, B-complex vitamin (in energy production)
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 can indicate a serious metabolic disturbance.
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.
Sources of Phosphorus
Seafood– tuna, mackerel, pike, red snapper, salmon, sardines, whitefish, scallops, shad, smelt, anchovies, bass, bluefish, carp, caviar, eel, halibut, herring trout
Nuts/seeds – pinon, pistachios, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, filberts, hickory, peanuts, pecans.
Vegetables – chickpeas, garlic, lentils, popcorn, soybeans
Grains – wheat bran and germ, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, oatmeal, brown rice, rice bran, rye, wheat
Miscellaneous – kelp, yeast, bone meal