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Stacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answeredPhosphorus is a mineral found mostly in foods like beans, nuts, dairy products, fish, chicken and other meats. Its primary function in the human body is building and strengthening bones and teeth. It also aids in the function of the heart, muscles, nerves and kidneys, as well as helping the body store energy and maintain healthy cells and tissue. Phosphorus drugs and supplements can be found over-the-counter and are referred to as phosphates. They may be used in the treatment (or as supplementary treatment) of conditions, such as hypophosphatemia, hypercalcemia, kidney stones, certain types of rickets or multiple sclerosis.
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.
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