Phosphorus (phosphate)

Phosphorus is a mineral the body uses to digest protein and sugars; it also helps the body absorb calcium. Some of the phosphorus in the body exists as a charged particle (ion) called phosphate.

People who do not have enough phosphorus in their bodies may lose weight, feel weak, and have growth problems (particularly bone growth).

Foods high in phosphorus include dairy products (such as milk and cheese), meat, egg yolks, whole grains, peas, and nuts. People who drink large amounts of alcohol often have low phosphorus levels.

Last Updated: October 13, 2009

Author: Maria Essig

Medical Review: Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine & Matthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology & Metabolism

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