Phosphorus - While Calcium Gets All the Notoriety This Mineral is Quite Important Too!

We are bombarded with messages about the importance of calcium for our bones.  Well, without phosphorus all the calcium in the world will not do you much good.  In fact, it may cause harm if there is too much calcium and not sufficient phosphorus.  Phosphorus is the second key mineral by content in our bones.  It supports healthy bone formation, energy production, cell growth and repair (remember blood cells are made in our bones), collagen synthesis (that's what helps make the bone), cardiovascular function, and nerve and muscle activity.  It is a key part of calcium and sugar metabolism.

What happens when the calcium to phosphorus ratio is out of balance? Too much phosphorus and less calcium causes the body to pull calcium out of its storage spots and we get teeth and bone erosion ultimately leading to osteoporosis.  By the way - do you know how many people get too much phosphorus?  It comes from drinking carbonated beverages.  Phosphorus helps make them bubble! Another reason soft drinks are not good for us, besides the sugar or artificial sweeteners being used.  On the reverse, too much calcium and not enough phosphorus causes excess calcium in the tissues.  This leads to things like kidney stones, cataracts, and arthritis.

Phosphorus is supporting may body systems including the circulatory, digestive, liver, metabolic, nervous, kidney, and most important the musculoskeletal.

Food sources of phosphorus include almonds, brewer's yeast, eggs, fish (halibut, salmon), glandular meats, lean beef, lentils, liver, milk, peanuts, poultry, pumpkin seeds, wheat bran, and yogurt.


Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at bernie@brwellness.com, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.