Phosphorus is an important mineral that represents 1% of our body weight. Phosphorus is found in every body cell. Along with calcium, it provides firmness to bones and teeth. Phosphorus also affects energy metabolism in the body.
Phosphorus is found in almost all foods. Milk, milk products, cheese, fish, meat, legumes and whole grain products are high in phosphorus.
Since phosphorus is sufficiently present in nearly all foods, a shortage of phosphorus is almost impossible. A shortage of phosphorus can, among other things, lead to anorexia, anemia, pain in bones, improper development of bones in children during growth or an increased susceptibility to infections.
Excessive intake of phosphorus causes increased bone metabolism, which can raise chances of osteoporosis in the elderly. Furthermore, a high intake of phosphorus can hinder the absorption of iron, copper and zinc. A surplus of phosphorus can lead to calcification of the organs, especially the kidneys. Too much phosphorus can directly cause diarrhea. Vitamin D production will be put at risk by an excess of phosphorus.
- Soft drinks and meat include relatively a lot of phosphorus, which may lead to a surplus of phosphorus.
- Phosphorus was discovered in 1669 by the German alchemist Hennig Brand.
- The term ‘phosphorus’ is derived from the Greek word phosphoros (light carrier). In Greek mythology, Phosphoros was one of the personifications of the planet Venus.
- In the periodic table of elements, phosphorus has the symbol P and atomic number 15. The color is red-white.