IMAGE Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body, after calcium. About 85% of phosphorus in the body exists in bone.


Phosphorus’ functions include:
  • Forming bones and teeth
  • Growing, maintaining, and repairing of cells and tissues
  • Synthesizing and activating proteins, such as enzymes and hormones
  • Maintaining acid-base balance
  • Producing, regulating, and transferring energy in the body
  • Converting carbohydrates, protein, and fat into energy
  • Important cell membrane component
  • Important in hemoglobin’s oxygen delivery function

Recommended Intake

Age Group Recommended Dietary Allowance
0-6 months No RDA; Adequate Intake (AI) = 100
7-12 months No RDA; AI = 275
1-3 years 460
4-8 years 500
9-18 years 1,250
19 years and older 700
Pregnancy and lactation, 18 years and younger 1,250
Pregnancy and lactation, 19 years and older 700

Phosphorus Deficiency

Phosphorus deficiency is called hypophosphatemia. Since phosphorus is present in such a large variety of foods, dietary phosphorus deficiency is rare. Symptoms of hypophosphatemia may include:
  • Loss of appetite
  • General weakness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bone pain
  • Increased susceptibility to infection
  • Prickling, tingling, or numbness of the skin in the arm, hands, legs, or feet
  • Loss of muscular coordination

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