Published: 06/15/2008 - Updated: 09/29/2018
Living beings are composed mostly of water and minerals and between minerals we can highlight the most important match, whose main function is the formation of bones and teeth. This mineral also plays an important role in the utilization of carbohydrates and fats in the body, besides contributing in the synthesis of protein for growth, as well as the conservation and repair of tissues and cells.
Phosphorus, after calcium is considered a macronutrient, which also plays an important role in the function of the nervous system and brain in general. Phosphorus is the second most important mineral in the body and also ranks second in number, is presented in the body by 23% of the minerals that make up the body. What we find in nature in the form of phosphate, phosphorite and chloroapatite, as in the free-state it cannot be found.
This mineral plays an important role in energy production through food, is a component of the nucleic acids DNA and RNA, and is involved in the hereditary factor. Phosphorus is essential also to form coenzymes of Group B, also regulates blood pH, allows the transfer of nerve impulses and helps to stimulate contractions of the cardiovascular system and muscles in general. Phosphorus control and helps to absorb sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, as well as combined with other important vitamins that execute various functions in the body.
Foods containing phosphorus
- Fish (mainly cod and salmon)
- The molasses
- The bakery and cereals such as muesli that contain more phosphorus than those made with refined flour, but this match is stored in a form called fitina, which cannot be absorbed by the body directly.
- Plants contain small quantities of phosphorus, except that some algae are very rich in this mineral.
It is important to note that phosphorus is easily destructible in heat, and if food is cooked too, this will lose much of the phosphorus content. So it is recommended, as in any diet focused mainly on health, food should be raw, because not only phosphorus but many vitamins and minerals are destroyed when exposed to heat.
How much phosphorus you need to consume and absorb properly?
It is said that a normal human being (from 10 years of age) requires approximately 1500 mg of phosphorus. The absorption of phosphorus was favored with a diet rich in fat and a good balance of other minerals, but if abused or these fats are more saturated or "harmful", what happens is that it undermines the absorption of calcium, which can lead to mineral imbalances.
Where food is generally of good quality and varied, and take a healthy life, and phosphorus is obtained from foods, is absorbed in this mostly in combination with calcium, by bones and teeth. When consumed as potassium phosphate, sodium or calcium, it is very effectively absorbed and assimilated by the small intestine. Muscles absorb 10% of phosphorus that is consumed for the production of mechanical energy, while the activity of nerve tissue absorbs 1% for the transmission of impulses.
Lack of phosphorus
We must pay attention to the fact that many times, even though phosphorus is consumed, one can arrive to lack it. This may be due, for example, that there disorders or hormonal imbalances, kidney failures, lack of calcium or magnesium, the ongoing intake of diuretics, if suffering from excessive stress, anorexia, diabetes, alcoholism acute and excessive consumption of iron, magnesium and aluminum, because they form insoluble phosphates, and although the phosphorus is present in the body cannot assimilate.
If the deficiency is severe, is leading to significant neuromuscular disorders. When the deficiency is not as severe, the symptom is muscle weakness, blood disorders or anemia due to a decrease of oxygen in the blood, which also alters the immune system (defense system of the body). If deficiencies are almost zero, the agency advised small signals as numbness of the extremities, poor memory, lack of attention and concentration, irritability, acute sensitivity, excessive stress, nervousness, irregular breathing, and in some cases a lack of coordination to talk. In the latter case, the balance of phosphorus can regulate eating many fresh vegetables, egg yolk, foods containing lecithin, yogurt, cheese, etc.