- Phosphorus is present in all body cells with the majority found in bones and teeth.
- It is found in many foods but the main sources are milk and milk products, bread and other cereal products, meat and meat products.
- Phosphatesare added to a number of processed foods.
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- Phosphorus is essential for bone and tooth structure. Calcium phosphate provides the strength of bones and teeth.
- It is needed for the release of energy from cells. When glucose is oxidized, the energy produced is stored in phosphate cmpounds that break down to give energy when required.
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Symptoms of deficiency
- Phosphorus is found in so many foods that it is unlikely to be in short in UK diets.
- Therefore dietary deficiency in unknown.
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Symptoms of excess
- Unmodified cow's milk should not be given to babies, as it contains more phosphorus and calcium than human milk.
- The high phosphurus content of cow's milk may reduce the absorption of calcium. This may lead to twitching of the face, hands and feet, a condition known as tetany.
- Maintaining a balance between phosphorus and calcium is therefore important when feeding babies.
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