Phosphorus and calcium work together in the body to build strong bones and teeth. The bones and teeth contain approximately 80% of the total phosphorus in the body, while the remaining 20% is found in various chemical reactions throughout the body. Phosphorus also promotes metabolism, increases endurance, acidifies urine, burns sugar for energy, reduces the possibility of kidney stones, forms DNA and RNA, and promotes the normal growth, maintenance, and repair of all body tissues.
Many highly processed fast foods and soft drinks are high in phosphorus, but low in calcium. Too much may therefore interfere with the calcium-phosphorus ratio. Too much phosphorus may lead to increased bone resorption and excretion of calcium. Plant sources include almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, sunflower seeds, wholegrain products, dried beans, peas, yeast, liver, cheddar cheese, eggs, fish, milk products, poultry, canned sardines, scallops, and tuna.
Phosphorus deficiency may lead to osteomalacia, easily broken bones, bone pain, lowered resistance to infection, loss of appetite, weakness, mental confusion, irritability, and speech problems.