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Home > Anti-aging Research > Phosphorus


Note:  Several years ago, I read somewhere that most people get too much phosphorus.  I think that is probably why you don't see much on phosphorus supplementation. - Ben

News & Research:

  • Why phosphate additives will be the next taboo ingredient - Washington Post, 3/30/17 - "In the form of phosphate compounds, phosphorus can also be added to food and beverages. These additives help baked goods rise, they act as emulsifiers in processed cheese and canned soup, they add flavor to cola and color to frozen french fries. They also can be added to meat, poultry and seafood to help the protein bind more water, making it juicier after freezing and reheating ... Our intake of phosphate additives in fast food and processed foods has more than doubled since the 1990s, from less than 500 mg a day to 1,000 mg a day. This is just from phosphate additives and doesn’t include foods that naturally contain phosphorus, yet it’s still higher than the recommended amount of phosphorus adults should get each day — 700 mg, according to the Institute of Medicine. The institute has also determined a safe upper limit for phosphorus and phosphate intake of 4,000 mg a day for healthy adults ... Emerging research has also linked higher intakes of phosphorus to a negative impact on bone health"
  • Link between phosphate intake and heart disease demonstrated in new study - Science Daily, 6/7/11 - "cholesterol deposits in the wall of arteries are increased following a higher phosphate diet. This leads to narrowing of the arteries, which is the cause of most heart attacks and strokes ... Food high in phosphate includes biscuits, cakes, sweets, dairy products and meats such as offal and veal" - Note:  They left out soda which is high in phosphate.
  • Phosphorous in sodas and processed foods accelerates signs of aging, study suggests - Science Daily, 4/26/10 - "high levels of phosphates may add more "pop" to sodas and processed foods than once thought. That's because researchers found that the high levels of phosphates accelerate signs of aging. High phosphate levels may also increase the prevalence and severity of age-related complications, such as chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular calcification, and can also induce severe muscle and skin atrophy"
  • Small Increases In Phosphorus Mean Higher Risk Of Heart Disease - Science Daily, 115/09 - "Higher levels of phosphorus in the blood are linked to increased calcification of the coronary arteries -- a key marker of heart disease risk ... Even small increases in the blood level of phosphorus predicted an increased risk of progressive CAC in these apparently healthy adults ... The phosphorus-related increase in CAC was comparable to that seen with traditional heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol"
  • Chewing Chitosan-Loaded Gum Reduces Phosphate Levels in ESRD Patients - Medscape, 2/16/09 - "Chewing chitosan-loaded gum twice daily can significantly decrease salivary phosphate and serum phosphate levels in hemodialysis patients and may help improve treatment for hyperphosphatemia ... At week 1, the patients’ salivary phosphate levels had decreased from 73.21 to 52.02 mg/dL (P < .01), and serum levels decreased from 7.60 to 5.38 mg/dL (P < .00001). After 2 weeks, salivary phosphate levels were reduced to 33.19 mg/dL (P < .00001) and serum levels decreased to 5.25 mg/dL" - See chitosan products at iHerb.
  • Phosphorus additives pose ‘hidden’ danger to kidney patients - Nutra USA, 2/11/09
  • Common Food Additive Found To Increase Risk And Speed Spread Of Lung Cancer - Science Daily, 12/29/08 - "a diet high in inorganic phosphates, which are found in a variety of processed foods including meats, cheeses, beverages, and bakery products, might speed growth of lung cancer tumors and may even contribute to the development of those tumors in individuals predisposed to the disease" - [WebMD]
  • Phosphorus-lowering Drugs Linked To Lower Mortality In Dialysis Patients - Science Daily, 12/17/08
  • Higher Blood Phosphorus and Calcium Levels in Coronary Arteries - Science Daily, 11/26/08 - "Higher serum phosphorus levels, even within the normal range, may be a risk factor for coronary artery atherosclerosis in healthy young adults"
  • Boning Up - Better Health, 12/04 - "Don't overdo your phosphorus intake. Calcium is excreted when phosphorus levels are excessive"
  • Regular Cola Consumption Linked to Lower Bone Density in Women - Medscape, 9/22/03 - "Among the female subjects, regular cola drinkers had decreased BMD compared with the infrequent drinkers. BMD was 2.3% lower in the trochanter, 3.3% lower in the femoral neck, and 5.1% lower in Ward's area ... When phosphoric acid comes packaged with other nutrients, it's absorbed normally and everything is in balance. We think the problem with cola is that you're getting those doses of phosphoric acid without any calcium. It's not balanced, and that extra phosphorus binds with calcium and prevents it from being absorbed"
  • Phosphorus Important for Bone Health in Elderly - New Hope Natural Media, 8/30/02 - "Although most Americans consume 100% or more of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for phosphorus, older individuals often reduce their total food intake and consume less of the high-phosphorus foods. While these dietary changes may not by themselves be enough to cause phosphorus deficiency, supplementing with large amounts of calcium could lead to a phosphorus deficiency in people who are consuming marginal amounts of the mineral ... Taking extra phosphorus is not appropriate for individuals who already consume large amounts in their diets. In fact, much of the research on phosphorus intake has focused on the problem of excessive phosphorus intake leading to a calcium deficiency"
  • Bones Need Both Calcium and Phosphorus - WebMD, 3/20/02


  • Serum Phosphorus Levels Are Associated With Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Asymptomatic Postmenopausal Women - Menopause 2020 Jun 1 - "Serum phosphorous is a significant risk factor for increased carotid intima-media thickness. Increased thickness of the carotid intima is a known cause of cardiovascular disease. Coronary heart disease is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in postmenopausal women ... We examined asymptomatic postmenopausal female patients with age range between 56 and 66 (N = 361) who underwent measurement of carotid intima-media thickness by B-mode ultrasonograph ... carotid intima-media thickness was significantly associated with age (r = 0.192, P < 0.001), mean blood pressure (r = 0.116, P = 0.029), diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.146, P = 0.029), serum phosphorous (r = 0.134, P = 0.012), and lactate dehydrogenase (r = 0.106, P = 0.047). On the basis of age-adjusted multivariate linear regression analysis, carotid intima-media thickness was significantly correlated with serum phosphorous levels (β = 0.273, P = 0.022) in asymptomatic menopausal women. Increased carotid intima-media thickness (cut-off 1.5 mm) was detected, although serum phosphorous was within the normal range (2.8-4.5 mg/dL) ... Serum phosphorus concentration is significantly associated with carotid intima-media thickness in asymptomatic menopausal women"
  • Serum magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium are associated with risk of incident heart failure: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study - Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul 16 - "A total of 14,709 African Americans (27%) and whites from the ARIC cohort [aged 45-64 y at baseline (1987-1989)] were observed through 2009 ... A total of 2250 incident HF events accrued over a median follow-up of 20.6 y. Participants in the lowest (≤1.4 mEq/L) compared with the highest (≥1.8 mEq/L) category of magnesium were at greater HF risk (HR: 1.71; 95% CI: 1.46, 1.99). For phosphorus, there appeared to be a threshold whereby only those in the highest quintile were at greater HF risk [HR(Q5 vs Q1): 1.34; 95% CI: 1.16, 1.54]. Higher concentrations of calcium were also associated with greater risk of HF [HR(Q5 vs Q1): 1.24; 95% CI: 1.07, 1.43] ... Low serum magnesium and high serum phosphorus and calcium were independently associated with greater risk of incident HF in this population-based cohort" - See magnesium supplements at Amazon.com.
  • High dietary phosphorus intake is associated with all-cause mortality: results from NHANES III - Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Nov 13 - "a prospective cohort of healthy US adults (NHANES III; 1998-1994) ... higher phosphorus intake was associated with higher all-cause mortality in individuals who consumed >1400 mg/d [adjusted HR (95% CI): 2.23 (1.09, 4.5) per 1-unit increase in ln(phosphorus intake); P = 0.03]. At <1400 mg/d, there was no association. A similar association was seen between higher phosphorus density and all-cause mortality at a phosphorus density amount >0.35 mg/kcal [adjusted HR (95% CI): 2.27 (1.19, 4.33) per 0.1-mg/kcal increase in phosphorus density; P = 0.01]. At <0.35 mg/kcal (approximately the fifth percentile), lower phosphorus density was associated with increased mortality risk. Phosphorus density was associated with cardiovascular mortality [adjusted HR (95% CI): 3.39 (1.43, 8.02) per 0.1 mg/kcal at >0.35 mg/kcal; P = 0.01], whereas no association was shown in analyses with phosphorus intake"
  • Lower concentrations of serum phosphorus within the normal range could be associated with less calcification of the coronary artery in Koreans with normal renal function - Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Oct 26 - "Serum phosphorus concentrations are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality in patients with renal insufficiency. This association has also been reported in Western individuals without chronic kidney disease (CKD) ... Compared with the group with a serum phosphorus concentration ≤3.3 mg/dL, the OR of an Agatston score >100 in individuals with a serum phosphorus concentration >3.6 to ≤3.9 mg/dL was 3.89 (95% CI: 1.43, 10.63; P = 0.008) and in those with a serum phosphorus concentration >3.9 mg/dL was 3.17 (95% CI: 1.19, 8.41; P = 0.021) ... A lower concentration of serum phosphorus within the normal range could be associated with less calcification of the coronary artery in Koreans with normal renal function"
  • Once-Daily Extended-Release Niacin Lowers Serum Phosphorus Concentrations in Patients With Metabolic Syndrome Dyslipidemia - Am J Kidney Dis. 2010 Sep 29 - Note:  It doesn't have the abstract, just the title but it's something I didn't know.  Most people get too much phosphorus.
  • Is Lowering Phosphate Exposure The Key To Preventing Arterial Stiffening With Age? - Heart. 2009 Mar 24 - "Diets in affluent populations are high in phosphate because of increased consumption of animal protein and the use of phosphate containing preservatives. We suggest that the consumption of a phosphate rich diet, exacerbated by the high prevalence of chronic kidney disease found in ageing populations, accelerates the development of arteriosclerosis. We hypothesise that reducing phosphate intake will attenuate the progression of arterial stiffness with major beneficial effects upon cardiovascular mortality and morbidity"
  • Increased calcium intake does not completely counteract the effects of increased phosphorus intake on bone: an acute dose-response study in healthy females - Br J Nutr. 2007 Oct 1;:1-8 - "When P intake was above current recommendations, increased Ca intake was beneficial for bone, as indicated by decreased S-PTH concentration and bone resorption. However, not even a high Ca intake could affect bone formation when P intake was excessive"
  • Relations of serum phosphorus and calcium levels to the incidence of cardiovascular disease in the community - Arch Intern Med. 2007 May 14;167(9):879-85 - "Individuals in the highest serum phosphorus quartile experienced a multivariable-adjusted 1.55-fold CVD risk (95% confidence interval, 1.16%-2.07%; P = .004) compared with those in the lowest quartile ... Higher serum phosphorus levels are associated with an increased CVD risk in individuals free of CKD and CVD in the community"
  • Phosphorus nutrition and the treatment of osteoporosis - Mayo Clin Proc. 2004 Jan;79(1):91-7