|MadSci Network: Medicine|
Phosphorus is found in all cells, vital to human life, and is the sixth most abundant element in the body. The primary tissue storage sites are bone (85%) and skeletal muscle (14%). Our body needs phosphate for DNA and RNA which are polymers based on phosphate esters, also the high-energy phosphate bond of ATP is the major energy currency of living organisms. So it is VITAL. Dietary needs, RDAs are similar to calcium RDAs with birth to 6mo.300mg, infants 6mo. to 12mo.500mg, children 1-10yr 800mg, 11-24yr 1200mg.. The average daily intake for males is about 48mmol (1500mg) and 32mmol(1000mg) for females. High protein foods such as meats, milk, eggs, and cereal provide also high amounts of phosphorus. Deficiency in humans is rare due to availability in food. Symptoms can include loss of appetite, development of stiff joints, fragile bones and a marked increase in susceptibility to infections.Too much phosphorus is even rarer than deficiency with symptoms of hypocalcemia and muscle twitches. If you'd like more information on phosphorus, nutrition textbooks give a good overview of body needs and phosphorus. Thanks for your interesting questions! Kathi Clement MD
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