Why is phosphorus important?

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The element phosphorus is very essential for the body’s health. One of the major advantages of phosphorus is that it forms a constituent of the phosphodiesterase linkages of the DNA. These ester linkages consist of the phosphate groups which form the backbone of the nucleic acids. Phosphorus is also found to be helpful in the conversion of nutrients to energy. Phosphorus is also very beneficial for the cell division in plants and in plant growth. So this mineral is considered a good source of plant growth especially for the young plants and seedlings.

Phosphorus is also useful for animals. It is used in the formation of the bone structure. For the process of bone structure formation, calcium and phosphorus are equally essential. The intake of phosphorus can happen in spite of insufficient dietary intake as this mineral is found to be even present in soft drinks as well as in fast foods. This excessive intake of phosphorus might lead to the imbalance in calcium.

Some of the uses of phosphorus for the body are that it forms part of the teeth, bones, and cell membranes. It is the constituent of nucleic acids present as a cofactor for many enzymatic reactions of metabolism. It enhances endurance, and it aids in triggering the vitamin B group. A deficiency of phosphorus might result in weakness, anemia, debility, loss of appetite, osteomalacia, problems in speech, decreased resistance to infection, confusion, and irritability.

Some of the foods that are rich in phosphorus are: cheese, soy products, fish, whole grains, meat, and nuts. It was evaluated that the deficiency of phosphorus can also be attributed to the deficiency in zinc, potassium, and manganese. If this is the case, then it can be taken as a multivitamin supplement that constitutes all the four elements.

As phosphorus is abundantly available in the daily intake of food, it is not necessary to take supplements unless prescribed by a physician. Taking phosphorus in doses higher than one gram in one day is toxic to the body. Overdoses can lead to diarrhea, difficulty in the absorption of calcium, difficulty in the absorption of magnesium, and calcifications of tissues and organs. If an imbalance exists in  calcium and phosphorus levels in the body for a long duration, then it might result in osteoporosis. These are some of the factors for considering phosphorus as an important element for the body.


Author: Hari M

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