Phosphorus is an element that plays an important role in the body. In the body, almost all phosphorus is combined with oxygen, forming phosphate. Phosphate is one of the body's electrolytes Overview of Electrolytes More than half of a person's body weight is water. Doctors think about water in the body as being restricted to various spaces, called fluid compartments. The three main compartments are Fluid... read more , which are minerals Overview of Minerals Minerals are necessary for the normal functioning of the body’s cells. The body needs relatively large quantities of Calcium Chloride Magnesium read more that carry an electric charge when dissolved in body fluids such as blood, but the majority of phosphate in the body is uncharged. (See also Overview of Electrolytes Overview of Electrolytes More than half of a person's body weight is water. Doctors think about water in the body as being restricted to various spaces, called fluid compartments. The three main compartments are Fluid... read more .)
Bone contains about 85% of the body’s phosphate. The rest is located primarily inside cells, where it is involved in energy production.
Phosphate is necessary for the formation of bones and teeth. Phosphate is also used as a building block for several important substances, including those used by the cell for energy, cell membranes, and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).
The body obtains phosphate from foods. Foods that are high in phosphate include milk, egg yolks, chocolate, and soft drinks. To maintain a normal level of phosphate in the blood, adults need to consume 700 milligrams a day.
Phosphate is excreted from the body in urine and sometimes stool. How much phosphate is in stool varies, depending on how much is not absorbed from food.
The level of phosphate in the blood may be
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National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Phosphorus Fact Sheet for Consumers: provides a general overview of phosphorus, including its role in the body and daily nutrition requirements