Power Mineral Phosphorus - Is your child meeting the needs?

  • Preeti Naik

    Bsc Food Science and Quality Control, Msc in Dietetics and Food Service Management

  • Posted On October 05, 2017

                                                             

Phosphorus is another major mineral in the body, and its importance is just right next to calcium. This particular mineral has both structural as well as functional roles and hence becomes a vital element in your child’s diet. Most of the phosphorus is a part of the bones however, it also is an important part of the cell membranes.

Our child nutrition experts  in Mumbai at FitterFly would like to give you an synopsis of this wonderful mineral-in terms of its importance in the diet, child-based requirement and the factors which affect it’s absorption in your child’s body.

Why the focus on consumption of phosphorus rich foods?

Primary reason which is well known is that bones are made up of calcium phosphate, hence it’s evident that phosphorus is significantly important in strengthening bone and teeth development and maintenance along with calcium. Secondly, phosphorus regulates calcium levels in the body.

Phosphorus is also required for proper cell functioning, since it is associated with storage and use of energy by the cells, thus providing energy to the cells of the body.

Phosphates are an integral component of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid), the nucleic acids which store genetic information and control heredity. Phosphates also regulate the activity of enzymes and proteins thus playing a basic role in countless biochemical reactions at cellular level.

What’s your child’s daily Phosphorus requirement?

Check your munchkin’s age and follow the requirements listed by ICMR. (Indian Council Of Medical Reasearch)

For Age group of 1yr-9yrs of age- 600mg of Phosphorus

For Age group of 10-18yrs of age- 800mg of Phosphorus

The recommended dietary allowance of phosphate is based on the intake of calcium. The ratio of 1:1 is generally recommended.

Which factors affect the absorption of phosphorus for my child?

Phosphorus can be found in various foods. The amount of phosphorus needed can be easily obtained even from a vegetarian diet which is cereal-based and phosphorus deficiency is hardly seen. But what exactly affects the absorption of this mineral?

Absorption of dietary phosphorus takes place in the small intestine. The amount of phosphorus absorbed varies from person to person. Phosphorus along with calcium is regulated by parathyroid hormone (PTH) released by parathyroid glands. Vitamin D also plays an essential role in regulating phosphorus. So now you know PTH and Vitamin D amounts keep a check on your child’s phosphorus levels!

Kidneys regulate the phosphorus levels in the body by removing excess phosphorus and thus maintain the normal acid/base balance (pH) of the body. In situations wherein kidney functionality is affected, the phosphorus level rises in the blood which could be harmful.

Absorption of phosphorus and calcium is optimum when the dietary Ca:P  ratio is 1:1

Phosphorus, which is often bound with other minerals in our food in the form of phosphate, must be in its free form to be absorbed properly in the intestine.

Although we absorb about 70 to 80 percent of phosphorus from food, other components from our diet can interfere with the absorption process for phosphorus. Similarly there are some factors which favour absorption of this mineral like acidity. Phytates found in grains, magnesium, iron and other minerals hinder the process of absorption of phosphorus. Phytate decreases phosphate uptake by intestinal cells. Thus the need is to keep a check on the source of Phosphorus consumed and the other nutrients present in sources of food your child is eating! Similarly there are some factors which favour absorption of this mineral like acidity.

Phosphorus might not be the priority mineral which you consider consuming first thing in the morning but it definitely is one of the minerals that you need to make sure is included in your child’s diet since it’s a significant one from the nutritional standpoint.

So, try to get more of phosphorus in your child’s diet TODAY if you are already not eating enough!!!

About Fitterfly:

Fitterfly is a wellness company run by doctors, nutritionists and wellness experts with an aim to empower people with knowledge and tools for good health. Our qualified Nutritionists at Fitterfly provide detailed customized guidance according to your child’s age, health condition, cuisine and personal preferences. To know more download and use ‘Fitterfly’ app from play store or app store or write to us at nutrition@fitterfly.com or just call us at +917045065225

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Disclaimer: All information here, including text, images, tables, videos and any other content is for your knowledge only and we do not guarantee any specific result by following these recommendations as it may vary from person to person. The information is not a substitute for qualified medical advice from a doctor or other medical health expert.