Phosphorus homeostasis in normal health and in chronic kidney disease patients with special emphasis on dietary phosphorus intake

Semin Dial. Jul-Aug 2007;20(4):295-301. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-139X.2007.00309.x.


Elevated serum phosphorus has been identified as a cardiovascular risk factor in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients and a clear understanding of phosphorus homeostasis is very important for practicing nephrologists. At any particular point, serum phosphorus levels reflect the balance between movements of this mineral from and into the intestine, bone, intracellular space, and kidneys. We briefly review here all these exchanges with a particular emphasis on dietary phosphorus intake. Despite all the oral phosphorus binders currently available in the market, dietary restriction of this mineral remains a cornerstone for the prevention and treatment of hyperphosphatemia. An effective restriction of dietary intake of phosphorus requires prescription of a moderate protein intake (0.9-1.0 g/kg/day) and restricted consumption of highly processed fast and convenience foods. Phosphorus added during food processing is an important source of this mineral because of its magnitude and high bioavailabilty. Moreover, as food manufacturers are not required to label the amount of phosphorus added during food processing, a significant amount of the current daily phosphorus intake remains unaccounted when estimating phosphorus intake in CKD patients. The recent development of low phosphorus-containing food products represents a very useful addition for CKD patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Availability
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Chelating Agents / therapeutic use
  • Food Analysis
  • Food Labeling
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / physiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Phosphate-Binding Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Phosphorus Metabolism Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Phosphorus Metabolism Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Phosphorus, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Phosphorus, Dietary / blood*
  • Renal Dialysis


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Chelating Agents
  • Phosphate-Binding Proteins
  • Phosphorus, Dietary