Phosphorus and Phosphate Information

Phosphorus, also known as phosphate, is an essential mineral in human nutrition and plays an important role in the structure and function of the human body. Phosphorus is essential for the process of bone mineralization and is what creates and maintains bone structure. Almost 90 of phosphorus in the human body is found in bone. Phosphorus also makes up the structure of cellular membranes, nucleic acids and nucleotides, including adenosine triphosphate. It has been said that life is built around phosphorus.

Phosphorus deficiency is uncommon because dietary intake is usually adequate. However, chronic alcoholics and people taking large amounts of aluminum-containing antacids may become deficient of phosphorus. In addition, those with malabsorption syndromes and those with diseases causing renal tubular losses of phosphorus can become phosphorus depleted. Phosphorus deficiency can result in anorexia, impaired growth, osteomalacia, skeletal demineralization, proximal muscle atrophy and weakness, cardiac arrhythmias, respiratory insufficiency, increased erythrocyte and lymphocyte dysfunction, susceptibility to infectious rickets, nervous system disorders, and even death.

Supplemental phosphorus is used in connection with phosphorus deficiency. Calcium phosphate however is mainly used as a delivery form of calcium. Phosphorus may have putative ergogenic (exercise performance-enhancement) activity and has been suggested for possible use in connection with osteoporosis when taken in conjunction with calcium supplements.

Phosphorus Dosage and Administration

Phosphorus supplements are usully unnecessary. Most multiple vitamin-mineral supplements do not contain phosphorus for this reason. However, some athletes will take calcium phosphate for phosphate-loading.