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Phosphorous Sources, Functions and Deficiency

Phosphorous is essential for proper utilization of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Calcium alone cannot provide all the benefits claimed for teeth, bone, brain, and nerves.

An adult human body contains about 400-700 gm of phosphorous as phosphates, most of this occurs in bones and teeth. About two-thirds of it is found in chemical combination with calcium in the bones and teeth, and the rest in other tissues.

Function of Phosphorous in Our Body

• It is essential for the formation of bones, teeth and blood.
• It plays and important part in all metabolisms.
• It is involved in the utilization of carbohydrates and fats, and liberates their energy at the rate demanded by the body.
• It regulates the acid-alkaline balance of the blood which is so important for the maintenance of health and prevention of disease.
• It provides fast relief in fracture of a bone, helps in healing process and halts loss of calcium due to injury.
• It helps kidneys to excrete waste, and pushes up nervous health.
• It plays a complementary role with calcium. In combination with calcium it feeds the nerves.
• It is important for proper functioning of heart and kidney.
• It also helps in the growth of hair.

Natural Sources of Phosphorous

The phosphorus is found in cereals, whole meat brad and flour, wheat germ, soyabeans, almonds and other nuts, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, grapes, citrus fruits, blackberries, cranberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelons.

The phosphorus present in animal foods like meat, eggs, and milk are absorbed to a greater extent.

Daily Requirement of Phosphorous

The RDA of 500 mg for children and 800-1200 mg for adults is recommended. It is suggested that phosphorus intake should be at least equal to or perhaps twice as much as calcium intake.

Phosphorous Deficiency

Phosphorous deficiency is rarely found as it is widely distributed in foodstuffs. Its deficiency is found in alcoholics, and persons taking too much of Aluminum Hydroxide antacids, and high carbonate foods.

• The deficiency of phosphorus causes poor appetite, pain in bones, fatigue, and weak muscles.
• A phosphorus deficiency may cause loss of weight, slow growth, improper brain and nerve function.


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