Phosphorus is an important mineral that is taken up by food as phosphate. Together with calcium, it ensures the strength of bones and teeth, plays a role in the generation of energy, in building cell walls and as a buffer substance in the blood. Phosphorus has many functions in the human body, its importance has been known since the beginning of the 20th century. Phosphorus plays an important role in the mineralization of the bone substance. In addition, as part of the energy carrier adenosine triphosphate, it plays an important role in energy storage and energy provision.
Phosphorus: Occurrence and functions in the body
Phosphorus is needed for building up the cell walls and, as part of the nucleic acids in the genetic material (DNA), is partly responsible for its structure. Another function is as a buffer in the acid-base balance - it helps to stabilize the pH of the blood. The stock of phosphorus in the body is about 600-700 g; About 90% of these are bound in the bones. He is excreted mainly through the urine, less about the chair. When there is a lack of calcium in the blood, the parathyroid gland releases a hormone (parathormone) that dissolves calcium from the bone, at the same time liberating phosphorus.
Supply of phosphorus via the diet
The Recommended daily dose of phosphorus is 700 mg. This daily dose of phosphorus is included in the diet, for example, in the following foods:
- 55 g of wheat bran
- 120 g soybeans
- 120 g Gouda (30% fat)
- 160 g of sardines
- 170 g lenses
- 180 g of white beans
- 350 g of mixed bread
- 390 g pork roast
- 760 g yoghurt (3.5% fat)
- 1400 g of kohlrabi
Phosphorus occurs in almost all foods. Particularly good sources of phosphorus are protein-containing products, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
Deficiency symptoms of phosphorus
Phosphorus is present in virtually every food, so deficiencies in reasonable adult nutrition are unlikely to occur and are most likely to occur with artificial nutrition. Other causes of phosphorus deficiency include renal impairment, hyperparathyroidism and vitamin D deficiency. If the phosphate level in the blood drops below a certain level, bone softening may occur (termed rickets in the child).
Overdose of phosphorus
Normally, the body excretes excess phosphorus with the urine. To a hyperphosphatemia. So too high a phosphate level in the blood occurs only in renal dysfunction and a hypofunction of the parathyroid glands. The fact that a very high supply of phosphorus with simultaneous low calcium intake leads to disturbances of the bone structure is today rather negated. There may be an association between excessive phosphorus intake and the hyperactivity of many children (ADHD).
Phosphates in food
Phosphoric acid and phosphates are widely used as food additives in industrial food production. So they serve u. a. as antioxidants, raising agents, acidity regulators and preservatives. Also in cola drinks, sodas, colored foods and sweets such as gummy bears phosphate is contained in relatively high doses. Together with sodium benzoate it is said to lead to a hyperactivity increase in children.