Phosphorus Nutrition Guide: Best Food Sources, Absorption, Deficiency, Types + Supplements

Phosphorus Nutrition Guide: Best Food Sources, Absorption, Deficiency, Types + Supplements

Phosphorus is an essential mineral found in your bones and is naturally present in many foods. Along with calcium, phosphorus is needed to build strong healthy bones and plays multiple roles in the body. It is key for teeth and cell membrane development and keeps blood pH within a normal range.

In this blog post, you will learn:

👉🏼 What is phosphorus + what role does it play in the body?

👉🏼 What are the best food sources of phosphorus?

👉🏼 How much phosphorus should you consume each day?

👉🏼 What can help improve phosphorus absorption – and what decreases absorption?

👉🏼 Who is at risk of phosphorus deficiency?

👉🏼 When should you consider phosphorus supplementation?

👉🏼 What are the different types of phosphorus supplements – and which one is right for you?

Are you worried about nutritional deficiencies? Are you looking to optimise your diet and transform your health? Head to Consultations to see how I can help you start your journey to the healthiest version of yourself today!

What is phosphorus?

Phosphorus is the building block of our genes, making up DNA, RNA and ATP – the body’s major source of energy. It’s also important for regulating nerve and muscle function including heart function and activating enzymes in our bodies. 

The kidneys, bones, and intestines tightly regulate phosphorus levels as it plays such a huge role in the healthy function of our bodies. 

What are the best food sources of phosphorus?

Many different types of foods contain phosphorus including red meat, dairy foods, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds, wholewheat bread and other whole grains like brown rice, oats, and some vegetables such as asparagus, tomatoes and cauliflower. Phosphorus is also found in processed foods which contain inorganic phosphorus, especially deli meats such as bacon, sausage, and sports drinks –  although it is recommended to limit your intake of these inorganic phosphorus products.

How much phosphorus should we consume a day?

The UK recommended daily allowance (RDA) for phosphorus is 550mg (for adults) which most people should be able to get from their diet. 

How can we maximise phosphorus absorption?

Vitamin D aids phosphorus absorption by stimulating bone calcium mobilisation but certain dietary sources may naturally increase absorption. Research has also shown that phosphorus is more easily absorbed by the body when eating bread that is made with yeast. Beans and lentils have been shown to contain more phosphorus than chicken or beef. However, animal proteins are thought to be the best overall sources of phosphorus.

Who is at risk of phosphorus deficiency?

Some health conditions, such as diabetes, Crohn’s disease and coeliac disease can cause levels of phosphorus in the body to drop. If left without a supplement or intake increase, over time this may lead to a phosphorus deficiency. 

If the RDA for phosphorus is lacking through diet or too little is absorbed, several things take place in the body to preserve its stores and try to maintain normal levels: the kidneys excrete less phosphorus in urine, the digestive tract becomes more efficient at absorbing phosphorus, and the bones release their stores of phosphorus into the blood and vice versa if the body has adequate phosphorus stores. 

Should you consider a phosphorus supplement?

As phosphorus is so widely and readily available in a variety of food sources, most people should get their RDA. However, you may consider taking a phosphorus supplement if you have a deficiency, although you should speak to a healthcare professional first. 

What should you look for in a phosphorus supplement?

If you are taking a supplement, it is advised that you stick to 250mg or less of phosphorus a day, from supplement, combined with the intake from your diet. 

Phosphorus supplements can also interact with certain medications, and some medications can have an adverse effect on phosphate levels so it is important to always seek medical advice before taking a phosphorus supplement. 


Everyone’s nutritional requirements will be different, which is why I take a personalised approach with all of my 1:1 clients and tailor each nutrition plan (and supplement recommendation) to their unique needs and goals. 

This is just a small insight into the types of things I discuss with my 1:1 clients. If you’re looking to optimise your nutrition, transform your health and elevate your quality of life, please get in contact via Consultations or book a FREE 15-minute call and let’s chat about how I can help. 

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