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Phosphorus: An essential mineral of interest

Published: June 08, 2018

Nuts are a good source of phophorus
Nuts are a good source of phophorus

Although phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in your body and is involved in a variety of important metabolic reactions this mineral does not get the recognition it deserves.

Phosphorus represents between 0.8 -1.2% of your body weight or approximately 560 -850g for a 70kg individual.
This mineral is typically present in small amounts (1%) in your body fluids, significantly more (14%) in your muscle and other soft tissues.
Most (85%) phosphorous is bound with calcium in bones and teeth as hydroxyapatite crystals.
Phosphorus and its major roles in your body.
Bone formation
The role of phosphorus, as phosphates (phosphorus salts), in the development of your teeth and bones is of major importance.
Phosphorus is found in both amorphous calcium phosphate, an undefined form, and hydroxyapatite, a more crystalline form, which is essential for the ossification process of bone formation.
In relation to bone formation, phosphorus metabolism is influenced by several compounds: parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcitriol and calcitonin in the following ways:

  • PTH influences both phosphorus resorption from bone and excreteion in urine which results in an overall decrease in plasma phosphate.
  • Calcitriol may stimulate phosphatise activity in your intestine which appears to enhance phosphate absorption from your intestine, and is also involve with phosphate resorption form bone in conjunction with PTH.
  • Calcitonin is involved in the stimulation of bone mineralization

Buffer system

In milk some phosphorus is attached to casein, a protein
In milk some phosphorus is attached to casein, a protein
Phosphorus, as phosphoric acid and phosphates, acts in body cells as part of your body’s buffer system to maintain the acid-base balance of your body tissues and fluids.
Along with pentose sugars, phosphorus is an important component of nucleic acids DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) which are essential for growth.
In particular, phosphorus and...link to the full article to learn more about phosphorus

Related Topics

Diet  Health  Metabolism  Nutrients  Minerals 


Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
Gropper, S.S., Smith, J.L. & Groff, J.L. (2005). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (4thEd.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.