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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diet and Nutrition > Phosphorus: Functions and Sources
      Category : Health Centers > Food, Nutrition, and Metabolism


Phosphorus | Functions and Sources

What food source is the nutrient found in?

Almost all of the food groups contain phosphorus. The best sources are foods that are high in protein. These include milk, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. Legumes and nuts are also good sources. Fortified milk, which has Vitamin D added to it, helps the body absorb phosphorus and calcium.

Diets that have enough protein and calcium will usually have enough phosphorus. Phosphorus is common enough in plant foods that vegetarians who eat a varied diet will get enough of the mineral.

Following are some common foods and the amount of phosphorus found in them:

  • milk (1 cup) - 230 milligrams (mg)
  • lean ground beef (3 ounces) - 60 mg
  • tofu (1 cup) - 120 mg
  • peanut butter (2 tablespoons) - 105 mg
  • cheddar cheese (1 ounce) - 145 mg
  • cooked kidney beans (1/2 cup) - 125 mg
  • How does the nutrient affect the body?

    Phosphorus has many important functions in the body. It combines with calcium to form strong teeth and bones. It is part of the genetic material present in every cell. Phosphorus plays key roles in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that come from the diet. It helps to move fat through the bloodstream. It also helps activate the B vitamins and is vital to the growth, maintenance, and repair of all body tissue. Phosphorus is important in muscle contraction (including the heart), kidney function, and nerve transmission. The functions of phosphorus are closely related to those of calcium and magnesium.

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    Phosphorus: Overview & Description


    Author: Kimberly Tessmer, RD, LD
    Reviewer: Jane Hemminger, RD, LD
    Date Reviewed: 04/03/01

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