Phosphorus is a mineral that makes up 1% of a person's total body weight. It is also the second most abundant mineral in the body that is important for filtering out waste and building healthy bones and teeth. It is commonly found in many foods, like beer and cheese. Phosphate is a form of phosphorus that can be taken as supplements when you can’t get the required amounts through diet.
Importance Of Phosphate
Our body uses phosphorus for
- Movement of muscles
- Strong bones and teeth
- Providing energy
- Lowering post-exercise muscle pain
- Filtering waste from the kidney
- Formation of DNA
- Nerve conduction
- Maintaining a regular heartbeat
Phosphate is also known to treat urinary tract infections and prevent the development of calcium stones in the kidney.
When Was Phosphate Discovered?
In the quest to create the “philosophers’ stone” like every other alchemist, Henning Brandt, a German scientist, collected and boiled around 1200 gallons of urine. He then mixed the tar-like residue obtained with sand and charcoal and maintained the mixture at the highest temperature the furnace could reach. After several hours of heating the residue, a white vapor was formed, which was then condensed into white drops. These drops had the “glow in the dark” property and hence the substance was named phosphorus.
The discovery of phosphorus made Brandt the first-ever scientist to discover a chemical element. Due to financial constraints, he ended up selling the discovery process to other scientists. Within 50 years of its discovery, phosphorus was being produced and sold to apothecaries, natural philosophers, and showmen. Further down the line, this element was making its way into matches, fertilizer, and bombs.
What Is The RDA Of Phosphate?
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of phosphate varies between 100mg and 1250 mg. Infants need about 200mg, while children between the ages of 9 and 18 need 1250 mg. Adults need 700mg.
How Genes Influence Phosphate Requirements?
CASR Gene and Phosphate Needs
The CASR gene encodes the calcium-sensing receptor (CASR). It is found in the plasma membranes of the parathyroid gland and renal tubule cells (in the kidneys). Calcium molecules bind to the calcium-sensing receptors. This receptor also regulates the release of the parathyroid hormone, which is responsible for phosphorus reabsorption in the kidney.
rs17251221 of CASR Gene And Phosphate Deficiency Risk
rs17251221 is an SNP in the CASR gene. The G allele of rs17251221 was also associated with higher serum magnesium levels and lower serum phosphate levels. Each copy of the G allele was also associated with a lower bone mineral density at the lumbar spine.
Non-genetic Factors Influencing Serum Phosphate Levels
- Vitamin D3 levels: A deficiency in vitamin D levels could result in poor absorption of phosphate
- Alcoholism: Alcoholism is treated with refeeding, which depletes phosphate levels
- Dietary intake: Severe malnutrition, such as from anorexia or starvation, can result in phosphate deficiency
- Kidney disease: Affects the renal reabsorption of phosphate
- Diarrhea: Diarrhea has been shown to increase phosphate losses through the intestines
What Happens When Phosphate Levels Are Too Low?
- Low phosphorus levels can result in
- Appetite loss
- Joint pain
- Tiredness or fatigue
Children with phosphorus deficiency may also show poor bone development.
What Happens When Phosphorus Levels Are Too High?
Hyperphosphatemia is a rare condition characterized by high levels of phosphorus in the blood. It occurs mainly due to kidney problems or issues in calcium homeostasis (maintenance of calcium levels). The presence of higher levels of calcium in the blood can result in:
2. High vitamin D levels
3. Damage to kidneys
4. Serious infections
"## What Is The Test To Identify Phosphorus Levels?
Phosphorus levels can be determined using a serum phosphorus test. This test is usually carried out to check phosphate levels as an indicator of kidney or bone disease. It also aids in assessing the functioning of parathyroid glands.
Dietary Sources Of Phosphorus
Plant Sources Of Phosphorus
- Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- Whole grains
- Lentils and beans
Animal Sources Of Phosphorus
- Organ meats
- Phosphorus plays an important role in the health of bones, muscles, and kidneys. It works with calcium to regulate bone health.
- Most people get enough phosphorus through their diets; however, several factors can affect its absorption in the body.
- A region rs17251221 in the CASR gene influences the intestinal absorption of phosphorus; the G allele has been associated with decreased absorption and, thus, decreased phosphate levels in the body.
- Low vitamin D3 levels, diarrhea, and alcoholism are also risk factors for phosphate deficiency - it can lead to anxiety, joint pain, and fatigue.
- Some dietary sources of phosphorus are dairy, nuts, chicken, and seafood.
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