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Mineral Basics: Your Complete Guide to Phosphorus

Phosphorus is best known for the role it plays in bone and teeth development; however, getting enough is also important for many other things. It plays a crucial role in the body’s utilization of protein, fat, and carbohydrates so they can be used for overall growth, maintenance, and repair of the body’s cells and tissues. This mineral also helps with the production of ATP, adenosine triphosphate, which is an important molecule the body uses to store energy.

Most phosphorus can be found in protein-rich foods like meat, milk, and eggs. If you consume a diet that is rich in calcium and protein, you’re probably getting enough. In fact, most Americans have no problem getting enough of this micronutrient. Additionally, breads and cereals are often fortified with it; however, the form of phosphorus found in these products is typically not as absorbable by the body.

According to the Institute of Medicine, the average adult needs 700 milligrams of phosphorus each day. Requirements are based on age and vary for each age group. Children between the ages of 0-12 months need 100 – 275 milligrams per day, 1-3 year olds require 460 milligrams per day, 4 – 8 year olds need 500 milligrams per day, and those between the ages of 9 and 18 require 1250 milligrams per day.


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