Phosphorus is found in food, water, and living tissues in the form of phosphates. It is essential for tooth and bone health. Phosphorus is found in carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
NOTE: Phosphorus cannot be absorbed without vitamin D. The body draws a varying amount of phosphorus from foods depending on its requirements.
What does phosphorus do?
|Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)|
|Age||Phosphorus (RDA) in mg/Day|
|Adults||Age 19 and over||700mg|
|Pregnant women||Age 18 and under||1.250mg|
|Nursing women||Age 18 and under||1.250mg|
Source: DRI, Dietary Reference Intakes, 2006, p. 362.
*(AI) = Adequate intake for those two age groups.
Phosphorus is found naturally in foods in the form of phosphates. In food additives, it is found in the form of phosphate salts, which help preserve food, retain moisture and color, etc.
Food Sources for Phosphorus:
|Pumpkin or squash seeds, roasted||60ml (1/4 cup)||664mg|
|Beef liver, braised or sautéed||100g (3½oz)||485-497mg|
|Pollock, walleye, or swordfish, grilled||100g (3½oz)||477-482mg|
|Soybeans, cooked||250ml (1 cup)||421mg|
|Beef liver, cooked||100g (3½oz)||412mg|
|Sunflower seeds, grilled, oil-roasted, or dry||60ml (1/4 cup)||375-393mg|
|Lentils, cooked||250ml (1 cup)||356mg|
|Salmon, canned or grilled||100 g (3½oz)||256-354mg|
|Clams, canned or steamed||100g (3½oz) (8-12 medium)||338mg|
|Poultry offal, braised||100g (3½oz)||223-289mg|
|Halibut filets, grilled||100g (3½oz)||268-283mg|
|Plaice, flounder, haddock, or swordfish filets, grilled||100g (3½oz)||275-282mg|
|Regular ham, 11% fat, roasted||100g (3½oz)||281mg|
|Blue or Alaska king crab, canned or boiled||100 g (3½oz)||206-280mg|
|Plain yogurt, 0% to 4% M.F.||175g (3/4 cup)||201-259mg|
|Cow’s milk, 0% to 3.25% M.F.||250ml (1 cup)||261-247mg|
|Ricotta cheese, made with part skim or whole milk||125ml (1/2 cup)||205-240mg|
|Turkey with or without the skin, roasted||100g (3½oz)||198-207mg|
|Domestic duck with or without the skin, roasted||100g (3½oz)||156-203mg|
|Cottage cheese, 2% M.F.||125ml (1/2 cup)||180mg|
Source: Health Canada, Canadian Nutrient File versions 2001b and 2005; U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
Phosphorus deficiency is extremely rare since our requirements are met through diet. Deficiency may occur only in patients hospitalized for:
Signs of phosphorus deficiency:
Excessive doses of phosphorus (more than 4 g per day) may be due to phosphorus salt poisoning or a diet that combines food high in phosphorus and low in calcium. Increased phosphorus levels in the blood, called hyperphosphatemia, may occur in people suffering from:
Signs of excess phosphorus:
Natural health products or vitamin supplements:
1Take every 2 hours.
Speak with your pharmacist if you plan to take phosphorus supplements. Your pharmacist can help you choose the solution that’s best for you based on your health and any drugs you take.