Phosphorous - Information and Sources


Most phosphorous in the body is present in the bones helping provide rigidity to the skeleton. It is also present in soft tissues as inorganic phosphate. It is involved in metabolism in high energy phosphate compounds, eg as adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Around 80% of dietary phosphorous is absorbed. Requirements are set equal to dietary calcium, and adults should aim for 800mg per day. Symptoms of phosphorous deficiency include progressive muscle weakness, fatigue, arthritis, tooth decay, fragile bones and stunted growth.

Phosphorous is a major constituent of plant and animal cells, therefore is abundant in the diet and present in all natural foods. It is also present in many food additives. Especially good sources include:

  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • White fish eg cod, plaice
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Pecan nuts
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Soya beans
  • Garlic
  • Popcorn
  • Cheese
  • Wheat bran
  • Wheatgerm
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Wheat
  • Chocolate
  • Kelp
  • Yeast