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Phosphorus and Your Diet

Phosphorus and Your Diet

Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body next to calcium.  It makes up 1% of a person’s total body weight. It is present in every cell and tissue but 85% are mostly found in the bones and teeth. This mineral plays an essential role in the total functioning of the body and it is very important in staying healthy. The following are the functions or importance of phosphorus:

  • Formation of bones and teeth.
  • Utilization of carbohydrates and fats and in the synthesis of protein for growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues.
  • Production of ATP, a molecule that the body uses to store energy.
  • Works with the B vitamins.
  • Assists in the contraction of muscles, in the functioning of kidneys, in maintaining the regularity of heartbeat, and in nerve conduction.

Phosphorus and Kidney Disease

Kidneys help regulate phosphorus in the body by removing excess amount of it. This mechanism is done by a part of the kidneys which is the glomerulus, the structure that does the filtration. However, in cases of kidney disease, the organ cannot perform its function and thus, resulting in an accumulation of phosphorus in the blood, a condition known as hyperphosphatemia. In this condition, due to an inverse relationship between phosphorus and calcium, the calcium level in the blood will decrease and could lead to bone disease.

Recommended Amount of Phosphorus

Even though phosphorus is an essential part of our diet, however, too much ingestion of it can stress the kidneys especially in cases of kidney disease. It can result to further aggravation of the condition or declining of the organ’s function. This is the reason why, it is recommended to reduce our intake of phosphorus-rich foods. As much as possible, it should be limited only between 800 mg to 1,200 mg each day.

Sources of Phosphorus

Almost every food contains phosphorus but the main food sources are the protein food groups of meat and milk. As general rule, the foods rich in proteins are also rich in phosphorus. According to the University of Virginia, when you look at the food label, those foods containing greater than 150 mg or greater than 15 percent of the Daily Value are high in phosphorus, those foods containing 51-150 mg or 5-15 percent of the Daily Value are medium high and those containing 0-50 mg or less than 5 percent of the Daily Value are low in phosphorus. So, before buying any foods look at the label first to make sure or monitor the amount of phosphorus you consume.

Foods High in Phosphorus

  • Avoid canned fish like salmon, sardines because phosphorus is used as a preservative. Tuna fish is probably the most popular canned fish.
  • Soda pop, beer, canned ice teas

Speak with Dr. Abbas Rabiei for a more complete list.

Management of Phosphorus in Kidney Disease

In order to avoid complications or any serious problems brought by kidney disease, there is a need to monitor phosphorus level in the blood. The normal phosphorus level is 3.5 to 5.5 mg/dL. To keep it within this normal limit, the help of the dietitian and the doctor is needed. They can give specific guidelines to follow and also prescribe medication such as phosphate binders. Adherence to the said intervention is needed to ensure successful result.

What does a renal diet consist of?

Kidney function is essential in removing waste material from your body that you consume when you eat. The kidneys eliminate waste products such as dietary protein called urea, as well as excess sodium, potassium and phosphate. When your kidney function is impaired, you may accumulate these products in your system, which can cause your body harm. Your doctor will recommend that you adhere to a strict “Renal Diet” to lessen this accumulation and its effects.

A simple guide to a renal diet:

Low potassium diet (Based on 2000 mg potassium per day diet restriction)

What does a renal diet consist of?

Kidney function is essential in removing waste material from your body that you consume when you eat. The kidneys eliminate waste products such as dietary protein called urea, as well as excess sodium, potassium and phosphate. When your kidney function is impaired, you may accumulate these products in your system, which can cause your body harm. Your doctor will recommend that you adhere to a strict “Renal Diet” to lessen this accumulation and its effects.