Phosphorus is the second most common mineral in the human body, right behind calcium.
It has a chemical element name of P and an atomic number of 15.
It can either a white or a red appearance.
It is highly reactive, yet an important part of a balanced daily diet.
People are encouraged to consume at least 700 mg of phosphorus each day. It can be found in foods like seeds, pumpkins, cheese, seafood, pork, and nuts. It was first discovered in the 13th century and, because of its reactivity, is often used in explosives.
People are encouraged to eat enough phosphorus each day to ensure their overall good health.
However, people who fail to consume enough of this element find themselves at risk for a number of different symptoms and ailments.
People who need to eat more phosphorus can experience loss of appetite, weakness, anxiety, bone pain, and fatigue.
Other symptoms include respiratory distress, irregular breathing, irritability, and marked weight loss or gain.
Kids who do not consume enough of the mineral can experience stunted growth and bone and hair loss. Phosphorus deficiency is most often treated with prescribed vitamin supplements and continuous medical monitoring.
Phosphorus toxicity presents a series of different symptoms that can impair a person's overall health.
Excess phosphorus can accumulate in people's bones, causing skeletal deformities and bone pain.
Toxic levels of this mineral also put people at risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as kidney stones and chronic diarrhea. It also interferes with the absorption and processing of other minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Many doctors consider phosphorus toxicity to be more of a health concern than deficiency of this mineral. They advise people to avoid drinking too many soft drinks, which are known to contain high levels of this element.