10 Warning Signs Your Body Is Need Of Phosphorus

You may have heard about calcium’s role in strengthening bones, but how many of us know about phosphorus' contribution to bone health? It may come as a surprise that 85% of phosphorus in the body is found in your bones and teeth. You heard right! Phosphorus is an essential mineral present in trace amounts in your body but has many important functions to perform.

So Let’s get to know it better! What do we need it for? What are the possible signs of its deficiency? And what are good sources of this mineral? Today’s post will talk about all that and a lot more.

Let’s start with why we need phosphorus.


80% of phosphorus in your body makes up your skeletal structure, and skeletal mineralization is an essential function of phosphorus. It is present in the form of phosphates, which are electrically charged particles. Most of these phosphates combine with calcium as hydroxyapatite crystals and the rest as non-crystalline calcium phosphate. Phosphorus deficiency often triggers bone atrophy which is the reduction in bone density due to the fast breakdown of bone substance and structure. Suppose you face an acute shortage of phosphorus; your skeleton will most likely lose all its minerals in a relatively short period, leaving you with only collagen tissues, which would have a rough time keeping everything together. You will also experience muscle pain and weakness. A long-standing phosphorous deficiency often leads to osteoporosis, a skeletal disorder characterized by weak and brittle bones. Breaking bones is quite common with this medical condition, where the hip, forearm, wrist, and spine remain the most fragile areas, vulnerable to injuries. While you are most likely to break your bone in a fall, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the minor shock of coughing or an accidental bump leaves you with an injury. However, these are less common cases of osteoporosis and only occur when you have reached the extremes of this condition. Osteoporosis is more common in females than males. 1 out of every 5 women over the age of 50  is affected by it. Many people with this condition are unaware of it until they experience a fracture or injury, but you don’t have to be a part of that category. Be vigilant about what is going on with your body, have a nutrient-rich diet, and take preventative measures such as exercising to avoid developing this condition. Studies have also shown that increasing phosphorus intake in your diet can reverse osteoporosis and restore your bones' sturdiness. Low phosphorus reserves can cause your bones to become soft and result in rickets developing in children and osteomalacia in adults. Both conditions are excruciating, and rickets can lead to stunted growth in children. Bone deformities can further worsen the situation and permanently impact the individual. Let’s not forget your body is an abode to many nutrients which work together in unison to keep it functioning. A combined effort of nutrients like calcium, vitamin D,  and phosphorus can provide much-needed strength to your bones. Stay on top of your nutrient intake; if one falls out of line with the team, it will be hard to maintain a healthy balance.


You might have ignored this nutrient, but little did you know that it has been working quietly and has had a say in almost all your primary body functions. Studies have shown that phosphorus is essential to cell membranes, DNA, RNA, and proteins.

You may ask, why is that so important?

That is because they form the basis of all your body processes. DNA is a structure that contains the vital instructions that are necessary for your growth, development, and reproductive processes. Suppose you ordered a new gadget that arrived without an instruction manual. Won’t you be left entirely clueless about how you should set that up or how you will get it working? The same happens with your body; DNA is a storehouse of all the information your body needs to keep running, and without it, you cannot function smoothly. You’re likely to experience a plethora of diseases in case of an impaired DNA sequence, so it is vital to give it special care by providing it with adequate amounts of phosphorus. Phosphorus is also crucial in deriving energy from your food, and your body needs fuel to work. Your body breaks down food into glucose, which is further broken down into Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) then phosphorus converts it into Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the cell's energy currency, and this process of extracting ATP from food is what we call glycolysis. Studies have shown that phosphorus is an essential factor in carrying out glycolysis. It also provides the necessary stimulation and fastens the process.

So, the next time you eat something and feel a sudden boost in your energy levels, remember phosphorus is doing its job.

How do we know that we are running low on phosphorus reserves? What are the warning signs of phosphorous deficiency?


01. Fatigue: Fatigue is a hallmark sign of phosphorous deficiency. If you feel tired even after a long good night’s sleep, your low phosphorus levels could be the reason.

02. Fragile Bones: A decline in phosphorus reserves leaves your bones weak, and you are more likely to break or fracture them. You should be extra cautious if you are physically active and lifting weights. Low phosphorus levels can weaken you to the core, and lifting heavy weights can become challenging. And mind you! You might injure one of your limbs if you give yourself that extra push.

03. Joint Stiffness: Do you face difficulties getting up from your place after an hour of inactivity? Do you find yourself constantly complaining about painful joints? If you answered yes to any of these, this could indicate a phosphorous deficiency.

04. Irregular Breathing: If climbing a few stairs, a brisk walk, or a minor physical work leaves you gasping for breath, this could be a clear sign that you are running out of phosphorus reserves.

05. Growing Anxiety: Low phosphorus levels can hamper the functioning of your nerve cells. This can cause fluctuations in mood and behavioral patterns. You tend to worry about minor things, take everything to your heart, and end up overanalyzing situations. Anxiety can cripple you from within; most of the time, it goes unnoticed.

06. Loss of Appetite: Have you noticed that you’ve started eating less? Do you feel full even after having a small slice of bread with nothing on the side? This is because decreased phosphorus levels can alter the brain's communication channels and trick you into believing that you have eaten enough and there is no space for more food.

07. Delirium: This can be another way your body is telling you something is wrong with your nutrition intake. A phosphorous insufficiency can trigger severe changes in your cognitive abilities.  Forgetting things, being unaware of your surroundings, confusion, and inability to think and speak clearly can be some of its manifestations.

08. Changes in Body Weight: A phosphorous deficiency may cause severe changes in your body mass. Due to impaired appetite, you end up eating less and shedding more weight. This is dangerous, as unhealthy weight loss comes with many more medical complications. This can push you one step closer to cardiovascular problems, hair loss, bad skin, and gallstones.

09. Irritability: have you grown fussy lately? Do your friends keep telling you that you flip out at minor inconveniences? If yes, this could be the doing of low phosphorus levels in your body.

10. Constipation: if poor bowel movements have been troubling you more than two days in a row, you could blame this on phosphorus insufficiency.

Are you looking to combat your phosphorous deficiency?

Don’t worry! All you need to do is increase your dietary intake.

So, let’s talk about foods, WHERE WE CAN GET PHOSPHORUS FROM

To keep your body functions running smoothly, an average adult requires approximately 700 milligrams of phosphorus in their daily diet.

Are you a big fan of dairy products? Here’s another reason to keep loving them. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources of phosphorus. Yogurt is the best among them, containing 250 milligrams of phosphorus per serving, followed by milk which contains 230 mg per serving. In the United States, dairy fulfills 20% of the phosphorus needs of individuals. Meats are also exceptionally rich in phosphorus. Salmon provides you with more than 200 mg of phosphorus per serving, chicken with 180mg, and beef with 170mg of the nutrient per serving. Bakery products like bread and tortillas fulfill almost 10% of the phosphorus requirements of the US population.

Other sources include lentils, kidney beans, potatoes, oatmeal, peas, brown rice, cashew nuts, sesame seeds, asparagus, apples, and tomatoes.

If you are a non-vegetarian, then plus points to you because phosphorus obtained from animal sources has a higher absorption rate than that of plants. Eating a healthy diet is the number one way to get the vitamins and minerals that are important for regulating your body's essential functions, which is why we must ensure that we have enough on our plates to fill our nutritional needs.

Are you looking to learn more about nutritional deficiencies and healthy diets? Check out 4 Major Reasons Why Your Body NEEDS Vitamin B1(Thiamine)Or The Top 12 Calcium-Rich Foods Your Body Is STARVING For Go ahead! Click one, or better yet, read both. What symptoms of phosphorous deficiency did you notice? Let us know in the comments below!

The information I provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. You should never use content in my writing as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if indicated for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. I am not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this blog. Thank you.

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