PhosphorousThe major function of phosphorus is in the formation, with calcium, of the bone component hydroxyapatite. 80% of the phosphorous in the body is present as calcium salts in the skeleton and, therefore, is essential for healthy bone and tooth structure. In the adult, there is a dynamic equilibrium between calcium and phosphate in the continual remodelling of bones.. The rest of the body’s phosphorus is distributed in all cells. It is essential for the structure of cell membranes (in phospholipids) and intercellular phosphorus contributes to a number of processes associated with energy metabolism.


Phosphorus is unlikely to be in short supply in UK diets because it is available in many foods.

Adverse effects

Phosphorus has very low toxicity.

Food sources

Phosphorus is abundant in red meat, dairy products, fish, poultry, bread, rice and oats and is usually found in foods that also contain calcium.


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