Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten
australiaphen375.com

Phosphorous

Phosphorus is an essential mineral and a vital component of every single cell in your body. Together with calcium it forms a chemical called calcium phosphate which is the substance that ensures both teeth and bones develop the hardness and strength they need. Virtually all foods except fats and sugars supply some phosphorus but those which contain calcium and protein together like meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese are the richest sources. You may read that pulses, cereals and nuts contain lots of phosphorus too but because these foods contain phytic acid, phosphorus, and some other minerals like iron and calcium, is not absorbed by the body.

If your diet is reasonably healthy and provides you with adequate amounts of protein and calcium, you're probably getting enough phosphorus and serious deficiency of this mineral is rare in generally healthy people. Most adults actually get between 1 and 2 grams of phosphorus a day and you absorb about two thirds of it, most of which is then filtered out by the kidneys and passed in the urine. During pregnancy and breastfeeding most of the phosphorus is kept by the body to supply the growing foetus and baby and this is also true in toddlers, children and teenagers, all of whom need the extra amounts in order to produce strong bones and grow new cells. By the time you're an adult you should have stored up more than a pound of phosphorus, over 80% of which is combined with calcium in your skeleton.

This mineral has other vital roles too and it's particularly important for the production of usable energy inside your body's cells. When you need extra energy, for physical or mental exercise, digestion and other bodily functions, enzymes are released which break down the chemicals that store the energy, remove the phosphorus and make the energy instantly available.

Although nearly everyone gets enough from their food, there are important exceptions. Long term use of antacid remedies for indigestion can cause severe problems with phosphorus levels as those containing aluminium and magnesium combine with the phosphorous making it impossible for the body to absorb it. Phosphorus is then automatically removed from bones which weakens them so severely that walking becomes painful and the risk of osteoporosis and fractures is greatly increased. Severe inflammatory bowel problems like Crohn's Disease, Coeliac Disease and colitis can reduce absorption of many nutrients including phosphorus and of course anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders present problems too. Alcoholics are another group who are at risk of phosphorus deficiency and lack of this mineral can lead to exhaustion, fatigue, osteoporosis, stunted growth, muscle spasms and severely delayed healing of some fractures.

The RDA is 800 mg and here are the best sources.

EDAM CHEESE
530 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 33% from average 50 g portion
Phosphorus score: 3/10

CALVES LIVER
470 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 88% from average 150 g portion
Phosphorus score: 9/10

WHITEBAIT
860 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 134% from average 125 g portion
Phosphorus score: 10/10

SARDINES IN OLIVE OIL
520 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 81% from average 125 g portion
Phosphorus score: 8/10

PRAWNS
350 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 66% from average 150 g portion
Phosphorus score: 7/10

MUSSELS
330 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 62% from average 150 g portion
Phosphorus score: 6/10

LOW FAT BIO YOGHURT - PLAIN
160 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 33% from average 150 g portion
Phosphorus score: 3/10

TURKEY
230 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 43% from average 150 g portion
Phosphorus score: 4/10

 

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