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The mineral phosphorus is another nutrient essential for good health. Phosphorus, along with calcium, is used by the body in the development of bones and teeth. The mineral also helps release the energy from the food we eat. Phosphorus is present in all our body and influences the functioning of the heart and kidneys.

Food sources
The mineral phosphorus can be found in foods such as poultry, seafood, red meat and dairy products. Nuts, seeds and whole grains are also good sources of phosphorus.

Daily requirement
The European Commission daily requirement for the mineral phosphorus is 800mg for men and women. However, in the UK the RDA is significantly lower at 550mg. In the United States, the recommended daily intake of phosphorus for an adult is 1000mg for men and women.

Deficiency
A deficiency of phosphorus in the human body is a somewhat rare occurrence. However, some medications such as indigestion pills can effect how the body absorbs phosphorus into the bloodstream. Over a prolonged period of time, this failure to absorb sufficient levels of phosphorus can lead to a whole host of conditions from anemia and kidney stones to neurological disorders.

Symptoms of phosphorus deficiency include weight loss, weakness, loss of appetite, bone pain, bone fragility and retarded growth.

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