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Phosphorus

Phosphorus: Main Image

How to Use It

Phosphorus supplements are unnecessary. Most multiple vitamin-mineral supplements do not contain phosphorus for this reason.

Where to Find It

Phosphorus is highest in protein-rich foods and cereal grains. In addition, phosphorus additives are used in many soft drinks and packaged foods. Phosphorus is not often present in supplements except for certain calcium supplements, such as bone meal.

Possible Deficiencies

Phosphorus deficiency is uncommon, because dietary intake is usually adequate.2 Chronic alcoholics may become deficient in phosphorus.3 and people taking large amounts of aluminum-containing antacids4

One study has shown that taking calcium can interfere with the absorption of phosphorus, which, like calcium, is important for bone health.5. Although most western diets contain ample or even excessive amounts of phosphorus, older people who supplement with large amounts of calcium may be at risk of developing phosphorus deficiency. For this reason, the authors of this study recommend that, for elderly people, at least some of the supplemental calcium be taken in the form of tricalcium phosphate or some other phosphorus-containing preparation.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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