Bioenergetic Spectrum Forum, Blog & Updates


Friday, July 07, 2006

Phosphoric acid in our diets?

Today, I was shopping at Costco trying to find some healthy food. I happened by the spice aisle and saw delicious looking jar of minced garlic. I read the ingredients and found phosphoric acid. Those were the ingredients: Garlic and phosphoric acid - not citric acid, an easily derived natural preservative - not ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C), a natural anti-oxidant preservative. If phosphoric acid is bad for the ecosystem, how could it possibly be good for my garlic?

I know there are people who think nothing of drinking soda pop on a regular daily basis. Parents are teaching the soda pop habit to their kids, then the kids think nothing of it, but how many people are telling those kids about the ingredients in that soda pop? What's worse, how many kids even care about those ingredients? Their parents don't. Why should they?

I'm going to assume that you are reading this because you care, so let's find out what happens when you consume too much phosphoric acid while you learn some nutraceutical biochemistry:

Regular consumption of (mainstream supermarket) soda pop and other such tainted foods Inject phosphoric acid into blood, which leeches Calcium and Phosphorus out of bone.

The Phosphoric Acid in soda leeches metal out of dental amalgam, especially copper Amalgam used in Finland, Norway, and Germany prior 1980.

Your ATP energy can become impaired (fatigue), you can reach for a soda to give you a little boost, but further hurt your health via the above interactions, causing you to reach for another soda. See

Soft drinks that contain citric and phosphoric acid can decrease the absorption of calcium. A 12-ounce cola may rob the body of 100 milligrams of calcium. See

Please understand that the actual phosphorus element (P) is an important essential nutrient. Phosphorus is highest in protein-rich foods and cereal grains. Phosphoric acid (H2PO4) additives are used in many soft drinks and packaged foods. Phosphorus is not often present in supplements except for certain calcium supplements, such as bone meal. See

Phosphorous deficiencies can be caused by excessive intake of aluminum containing agents (e.g. Alka-Seltzer and other anti-acids) because the aluminum can bind to phosphorous. In addition, diabetes, starvation, alcoholism, and conditions that can cause abnormal absorption of
nutrients (such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease, and radiation damage) can lead to depletion of phosphorous in the body. Symptoms of phosphate deficiency include loss of appetite, anxiety, bone pain, bone fragility, stiffness in the joints, fatigue, irregular breathing, irritability,
numbness, weakness, and weight change. In children, decreased growth and poor bone and tooth development may occur.

Having too much phosphorous in the body is actually more common and more worrisome than having too little of this mineral. Excessive phosphorous is generally caused by kidney disease or by consuming too much dietary phosphorous relative to dietary calcium. As dietary phosphorous increases, the need for additional calcium rises as well. The delicate balance between calcium and phosphorous is necessary for proper bone density and prevention of osteoporosis. See

Calcium and phosphorous need to be in balance. Fortunately, the properly functioning parathyroid gland and kidneys help excrete excess calcium and phosphates (PO4) when consumed in moderation. Unfortunately, excessive consumption of phosphoric acid, H2PO4, can put excessive strain on the kidneys in the same way that excessive consumption of alcohol puts strain on the liver.

Phosphorus can be found in the environment most commonly as phosphates. Phosphates are important substances in the human body, because they are a part of DNA materials and they take part in energy distribution. Phosphates can also be found commonly in plants - BUT, phosphates are not the same as phosphoric acid. For example, the table salt molecule, NaCl,
is formed by two elements deadly to life when separate. In contrast, hydrogen (H2) and phosphates (PO4) are harmless by themselves (accounting for hydrogen's natural tendency to bond with other elements - like oxygen which makes...). See

Most of the body's phosphorus is combined with calcium within the skeleton, but about 15% exists in the blood and other soft tissues and body fluids as phosphate (PO4) ions. Dietary phosphorus is efficiently absorbed, so low PO4 caused by dietary deficiency is unlikely in the
absence of a malabsorption syndrome (inadequate absorption of nutrients in the intestinal tract) for individuals on a normal diet.

PO4 levels are controlled by PTH, 1,25-dihydroxy Vitamin D and, to a lesser extent, calcitonin. The 1,25-dihydroxy Vitamin D increases absorption of calcium and phosphate in the intestines. PTH 1) increases calcium and PO4 release from bone; 2) decreases loss of calcium and increases loss of PO4 in the urine; and 3) increases activation of 25-hydroxy Vitamin D to 1,25-dihydroxy Vitamin D in the kidneys. See

Absorption of calcium and phosphorus by the body is a complicated pathway, involving also parathyroid hormones, kidneys, bowel, and Vitamin D. Phosphorus is required by the body for bone and teeth formation (NOT fluoride). Calcium alone can't build strong bones and tissues. New research shows calcium needs phosphorus to maximize its bone-strengthening benefits, and taking a lot of calcium supplements without enough phosphorus could be a waste of money.

Phosphorus allows proper digestion of riboflavin and niacin, aids in transmission of nerve impulses, helps your kidneys effectively excreting wastes, gives you stable and plentiful energy, forms the proteins that aid in reproduction, and may help block cancer. Researchers say it's the
first time the two elements have been shown to be co-dependent for bone health. Both calcium and phosphorus are found naturally in dairy products, but most calcium supplements and
calcium-fortified foods and beverages don't contain phosphorus.

More than half of all bone is made from phosphate, and small amounts are also used in the body to maintain tissues and fluids. Taking large amounts of calcium from supplements can interfere with phosphorus absorption. Women trying to prevent or treat osteoporosis typically take
1,000-1,500 mg of calcium a day in the form of supplements. Researchers found this amount of calcium can bind up to 500 mg of phosphorus, making it unavailable to the body.

Although this would present no serious problem for many people, it could impact women over 60 years of age who have diets that contain less than the National Academy of Sciences recommended daily allowance of 700 mg of phosphorus. See

How does calcium work? As with other minerals, the body has a marvelous system for keeping the concentration of calcium in the blood and tissues just right. This is needed because if calcium concentrations fall too low or get too high, certain organs will fail to function. The first checkpoint is in the intestines. If you eat too much calcium or already have enough calcium in your blood, the intestines simply absorb less of the calcium in the food you eat. If your body needs calcium, the intestines absorb more. Bones are the second checkpoint. If you don't get enough calcium in your diet, your body may borrow what it needs from your bones. This works for a time, yet continued withdrawals of calcium from the bone bank can lead to osteoporosis.

A hormone called parathyroid oversees all this calcium activity keeping the calcium oncentration just right. When calcium levels fall, this hormone stimulates vitamin D to increase absorption of
calcium from the intestines and to release calcium from the bone bank until a proper balance is restored. Labels on calcium supplements can be misleading. The figure that is important is the amount of ELEMENTAL calcium provided by the supplement. This is the actual amount of useable calcium.

Phosphorus deficiency is uncommon, because dietary intake is usually adequate. Chronic alcoholics and people taking large amounts of aluminum-containing antacids may become deficient in phosphorus .

One study has shown that taking calcium can interfere with the absorption of phosphorus, which, like calcium, is important for bone health. Although most western diets contain ample or even excessive amounts of phosphorus, older people who supplement with large amounts of calcium may be at risk of developing phosphorus deficiency. For this reason, elderly people, should use supplemental calcium in the form of tricalcium phosphate or some other phosphorus-containing preparation. See or look for it at

As calcium intake increases without a corresponding increase in phosphorus intake, phosphorus absorption falls and the risk of phosphorus insufficiency rises. Intakes with high Ca:P ratios can occur with use of supplements or food fortificants consisting of non-phosphate calcium salts. Older patients with osteoporosis treated with current generation bone active agents should receive at least some of their calcium co-therapy in the form of a calcium phosphate preparation.

Phosphorus is not usually considered a problem nutrient. If anything, it has been argued, there is an excess of phosphorus in the food supply, at least in the U.S. The facts, however, are not so clearly supportive of this conclusion. In comparison with laboratory animals, in which the
potential harm of high phosphorus intakes has been mainly studied, human phosphorus intake is low. See

About 85 percent of phosphorus in the body is found in the bones and teeth. The rest circulates freely in the bloodstream and operates inside cells -- phosphorus is an important part of every tissue. Phosphorous is widely distributed in foods, so a sufficient supply is easily obtained in
the diet. Milk, cheese, bakery products and meat provide most of the phosphorus in our diets.

Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the body. Nearly 99 percent of the 2 to 3 pounds present in the body is concentrated in bones and teeth. The remaining 1 percent circulates within the bloodstream. The bones act like a savings account for calcium from which the body makes a "withdrawal" when blood levels dip. The bones, however, pay the price. During childhood and teen years, "deposits" of new bone are added to the skeleton faster than old bone is removed. We reach peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength) around age 30. After age 35 or so, bone "withdrawals" begin to exceed "deposits" from the savings account.
This failure to maintain enough bone mass can eventually result in osteoporosis, a crippling bone disease. See

Calcium recommendations were set at levels associated with maximum retention of body calcium, since bones that are calcium rich are known to be less susceptible to fractures. In addition to calcium consumption, other factors that are thought to affect bone retention of calcium and risk of osteoporosis include high rates of growth in children during specific periods, hormonal status, exercise, genetics, and other diet components.

Phosphorus, an important nutrient for bone and soft tissue growth, is so prevalent in various foods that near starvation or a metabolic disorder is required to produce deficiency. Different from former RDAs, phosphorus values in the report are not derived in relation to calcium. The values recommended are considered sufficient to support normal bone growth and metabolism at various ages. See

Thanks for your time. My next thoughts will be on the super prevalent preservative, sodium nitrite.

Your Health is Priceless - You're a Health Shopper



Post a Comment

<< Home