Phosphorus is the second most common mineral in the body. Calcium is first. For certain tasks, the body requires phosphorus, such as removing waste and restoring cells and tissues. Phosphorus is a mineral required for the body to conduct a variety of important functions. This exists naturally in many foods so it can also contribute additional phosphorus to food production. Phosphorus is used in the body to keep the bones solid and stable.

Phosphorus in the form of phospholipids is also a part of the composition of the cell membrane and of the main supply of energy for the body, ATP. Many phosphorylated proteins and sugars are found in the body.


Food Sources of Phosphorus


There are several different types of foods contain phosphorus:

  • Meats and poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables and grains
  • A low-fat dairy product like yogurt and Cottage cheese

Some types of non-protein food include phosphorus too. For instance:

  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Dried fruit
  • Carbonated drinks

Phosphorus is attached to phytate in nuts, peas, plants, and beans and is poorly absorbed.


Daily Requirement of Phosphorus

It depends on your age, how much phosphorus you require in your diet. Adults need less phosphorus than children aged 9 to 18, but more phosphorus than children under 8.

According to National Institutes of Health  recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

Birth to 6 months*100 mg100 mg
7–12 months*275 mg275 mg
1–3 years460 mg460 mg
4–8 years500 mg500 mg
9–13 years1,250 mg1,250 mg
14–18 years1,250 mg1,250 mg1,250 mg1,250 mg
19+ years700 mg700 mg700 mg700 mg

*Adequate Intake (AI)

Few individuals require phosphorus supplements. Most people will get the appropriate amount of phosphorus from the foods they consume.


Benefits of Phosphorus

Phosphorus is beneficial for the following :

  • produce DNA and RNA — the body’s genetic building blocks
  • keeping the bones and teeth strong
  • balance and use vitamins such as vitamins B and D, and minerals such as iodine, magnesium, and zinc
  • helping the muscles contract
  • Managing the use and conservation of energy inside the body
  • filter out waste in your kidneys
  • aiding muscle recovery after exercise
  • Grow, preserve, and repair the cells and tissue
  • maintain a regular heartbeat


Deficiency of Phosphorus


If you have a phosphorus deficiency you can suffer a variety of bone-related symptoms. You can have bone pain or weak bones, for example, which crack more easily. Other symptoms include joint stiffness, anxiety, abnormal breathing, fatigue, change in body weight, and weakness.

Children who lack adequate phosphorus in their bodies can exhibit abnormal growth patterns or bone and teeth development problems.

In some cases, people with hazardously low phosphorus can suffer a coma or other symptoms that endanger life. A doctor typically can fix low levels of phosphorus by treating the underlying disorder. The doctor may consider making dietary changes or taking vitamins to ensure they are receiving enough phosphorus.


Risk of Overdose

High intakes of phosphorus rarely cause adverse effects in healthy individuals. However, an accumulation of so much phosphorus can be likely for people with chronic kidney disease or whose bodies have trouble absorbing calcium.

High levels of phosphorus will impair the ability of the body to use other minerals efficiently, such as copper, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. It can combine with calcium which causes the formation of mineral deposits in your muscles.

When a person’s blood absorbs extremely high amounts of phosphorus, the phosphorus will strip calcium from the bones, making them weak. It can also be mixed with calcium to create deposits within the body’s soft tissues. These deposits can result in an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or death.



In order to fulfill all of its essential functions, the body requires the mineral phosphorus. A lot of people get phosphorus from their diet. People who have some health conditions or are taking specific medicines may need to increase or decrease their intake of phosphorus.

Someone who is worried about their phosphorus consumption or develops phosphorus deficiency symptoms should speak to their doctor.