Phosphorus is a mineral that is found in many of our foods. For us humans, it is quite an important little mineral. It is one of the building blocks of our cells. In a complex mixture of phosphorus, oxygen, and hydrogen, it makes up half of the outer wall of the cell. It is also a vital part of the inside of the cell, allowing it to perform a variety of different functions. In the nucleus, both RNA and DNA are made with phosphorus, which holds DNA together like glue.
Phosphorus is also crucial to bone health, with 80 to 85% of our phosphorus being stored in our bones. Without phosphorus, our bones would be much weaker. Dietary phosphorus can influence bone production by signaling bone growth. This process is always working to make sure our bones stay healthy. Another role phosphorus plays in bone health is the effect phosphorus has on a hormone called PTH, which controls our body’s bone and calcium metabolism by increasing the body’s absorption of calcium and decreasing its loss.
Phosphorus is linked to our energy delivery system as well. When our body breaks down food for fuel, it is designed to turn it into a tri-phosphorus compound that virtually all of our body uses as fuel. When the tri-phosphorus compound breaks down, the body has special places that use these compounds to reenergize it back to its full potential.
It is important for our body to maintain a certain pH balance. Most of our systems like being in the seven range. Once again, phosphorus comes to the rescue. When our systems’ pH gets too high or too low, phosphorus kicks in and brings it back to where it needs to be.
No special diet is needed to maintain a healthy phosphorus level. A normal, healthy diet should give you plenty of phosphorus.
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