Ever take anything, say like a coffee, and get a jolt of energy? That exciting feeling that comes over the body where energy starts coming over you and you're now running at a 100 miles an hour? You're excited, sparked, and ready to go like a little fire flame. That is phosphorus.
Just like our four core minerals, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium, phosphorus is considered a macro mineral for our bodies contain lots of it. About 85% of our phosphorus stores is found in your bones and teeth, and the remaining 15% in other tissues like nerves, muscles, etc.
When people think energy, they think they need more electrolytes, carbohydrates, or stimulants, but rarely do people correlate energy production with phosphorus. In fact, it's one of the main minerals responsible in helping produce ATP within the cell. If you have done an HTMA before, you'll see that there is a section called Metabolic Type at the top as seen below, or a ratio which you'll find under the Significant Ratios Box on the second page.
Metabolic Type is a reflection on how fast your body is utilizing energy. For more information on this, click the link here to learn about a slow oxidizer, and click here to learn about fast oxidizers. In short though, phosphorus speeds up the metabolism naturally as well as the nervous system which you'll see below.
Here, if we look to the Ca:P ratio, which is the calcium to phosphorus ratio, we can understand that there is too much calcium in relation to phosphorus, which then sedates the nervous system too much and can cause symptoms of brain fog, fatigue, apathy, depression, and more. If phosphorus were too high, this ratio would be very low, and symptoms would include anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, high blood pressure, fast heart rate, and maybe even an inability to keep weight on.
That being said, it has many more functions than just energy production.
1. It's important for bone health. Considering the fact that 85% of phosphorus is in our bones and teeth as mentioned above, this shows how vital it is for both growth and development in our younger years. In fact, one would even argue phosphorus is even vital for the maintenance of bone density, and muscle mass as foods most dense in phosphorus are rich in protein.
2. Piggy backing off of the significant ratios box we saw above, phosphorus is also important for the nervous system. Rather than sedating is and calming it down, it excites it and stimulates our nervous system to be aware and on guard. In times of acute stress, phosphorus is being utilized to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which is our fight or flight response.
3. It's also very important for the structure of the cell membrane. Typically, we speak of phospholipids, which are fats that maintain the integrity of this outer layer of our cells. These membranes are not just a barrier but also a cap to maintain essential nutrients inside of it so it can function optimally. Phosphorus is a compound that we need to maintain its structure.
4. Phosphorus helps with DNA and RNA metabolism which means it plays a role in how our bodies process proteins, enzymes, hormones and other chemical reactions. Without it, we can become susceptible to certain functions declining, particularly in protein biosynthesis.
5. Phosphorus is needed for balancing pH levels via serum levels. Despite phosphorus being considered an acid forming mineral, in certain forms it can act as a neutralizer against lactic acid build up and other acids in the body,
The best sources of phosphorus is primarily animal protein such as meat, eggs and dairy. Sure, some nuts, seeds and beans contain phosphorus, but it isn't recommended. Conversely, soft drinks also contain a specific type of phosphorus called phosphoric acid. This form of phosphorus is not just a stimulant, but is considered one of the most acidic forms, thus can damage teeth, gums, tissue like our stomach lining and even bones.
If you're someone who is struggling with an inability to maintain muscle, fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, hair loss, can't lose weight, or more, phosphorus might be something to look into!
We always highly recommend running an HTMA to be 100% sure, so click here to order your test today!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach