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Phosphorus is a mineral that makes up 1% of a person's total body weight. It is present in every cell of the body. Most of the phosphorus in the body is found in the bones and teeth.

FunctionThe main function of phosphorus is in the formation of bones and teeth.

It plays an important role in how the body uses carbohydrates and fats. It is also needed for the body to make protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues. Phosphorus also helps the body make ATP, a molecule the body uses to store energy.

Phosphorus works with the B vitamins. It also helps with the following:

  • Kidney function
  • Muscle contractions
  • Normal heartbeat
  • Nerve signaling

Food Sources

The main food sources are the protein food groups of meat and milk. A meal plan that provides adequate amounts of calcium and protein also provides an adequate amount of phosphorus.

Although whole-grain breads and cereals contain more phosphorus than cereals and breads made from refined flour, this is a storage form of phosphorus called phytin, which is not absorbed by humans.

Fruits and vegetables contain only small amounts of phosphorus.

Side Effects

There is generally no deficiency of phosphorus because it is so readily available in the food supply.

Excessively high levels of phosphorus in the blood, although rare, can combine with calcium to form deposits in soft tissues such as muscle. High levels of phosphorus in blood only occur in people with severe kidney disease or severe dysfunction of their calcium regulation.

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Q: Is phosphorus good for human health?
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