Definition: Phosphorus is a major mineral and most of it is stored in your bones. Lesser amounts are found in your teeth, DNA, and cell membranes throughout your body. It's necessary for building strong bones and is important for many biochemical reactions such as converting the foods you eat into the energy your body needs every day. Phosphorus also helps with muscle contraction, nerve conduction and normal kidney function.
Daily Requirements1 to 3 years 460 milligrams per day
4 to 8 years: 500 milligrams per day
9 to 18 years: 1,250 milligrams per day
19+ years: 700 milligrams per day
Phosphorus deficiency does not occur under normal circumstances. However, low levels of phosphorus can occur with the use of certain medications, calcium carbonate supplements and some antacids.
Dietary sources include foods that are also high in protein such as meat, nuts, seeds, legumes and dairy products, and it is present in lesser amounts in fruits and vegetables. Whole grains also contain phosphorus, but, it's in a form that is difficult for the body to digest.
Nutrition Fact Sheet: Phosphorus. Northwestern University. July 13, 2009. http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/nutrition/factsheets/phosphorus.html.
Dietary Reference Intakes. Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. Accessed July 13, 2009. http://www.iom.edu/Object.File/Master/21/372/0.pdf.r Information Sheet. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed: July 13, 2009. http://www.fda.gov/cder/consumerinfo/druginfo/mobic.htm