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What Is the Role of Phosphorus in the Body?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

The uses and functions of phosphorus in the body are varied and include filtration of waste, cell regeneration, and production and maintenance of the teeth and bones. Most of the phosphorus found in one's body is located inside the teeth and bones themselves, along with calcium. Both of these minerals are abundant within the body, and they work together to ensure strong teeth and bone density. An imbalance of either calcium or phosphorus in the body can lead to serious health problems.

Phosphorus is primarily used in the body to create and maintain bone density. It works to harden bones and promote joint health. Unlike calcium, most people get enough phosphorus in their diets, since it is found in a wide range of foods. A more likely problem is too much of this mineral being found in the body. When this occurs, it greatly affects calcium absorption and utilization, although this condition is also relatively rare in healthy adults.

Anatomical model of the human body
Anatomical model of the human body

The phosphorus in the body is also used in the filtration of wastes out of the kidneys. It also acts to regulate metabolic functions such as muscle contractions. This includes the functioning of the heart muscle. Additionally, phosphorus works alongside certain other vitamins to help promote cell regrowth and regeneration and tissue repair. This is not only important in the day to day functioning of the body, but also during times of strenuous exercise or injury when muscles may be damaged.

Phosphorus in the body also works to help other vitamins absorb and be utilized more effectively. The B vitamins, for instance, cannot be adequately utilized without adequate phosphorus levels. Calcium is also not utilized efficiently without adequate phosphorus intake.

Although most individuals have adequate phosphorus in the body due to its abundance in commonly eaten foods, certain people may needed supplementation. This can include those who follow a restrictive diet which limits meats and dairy. Additionally, those with certain health conditions may be susceptible to having too much phosphorus in the diet. Those who are extremely deficient in calcium may also have symptoms of phosphorus overload. Anyone who believes they are deficient in phosphorus should speak to a doctor before buying supplements since too much phosphorus is even more dangerous than too little.

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      Anatomical model of the human body