Awareness of phosphorus intake is important because both phosphorus deficiency and overloading impair bone health and quality of life. Phosphorus consumption is increasing in many countries. Most dietary phosphorus is contained in protein-rich foods such as meat, milk, cheese, poultry, fish, and processed foods that contain phosphate-based additives to improve their consistency and appearance. Elevation of extracellular phosphorus levels causes endothelial dysfunction and medial calcification, which are closely associated with the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Long-term excessive phosphorus loading, even if it does not cause hyperphosphatemia, can be a risk factor for CVD. In epidemiological studies, higher levels of phosphorus intake have been associated with reduced blood pressure. Interestingly, when examined further, phosphorus from dairy products, but not from other sources, was usually associated with lower blood pressure. A dietary approach to phosphorus reduction is particularly important to prevent bone impairment and CVD in patients with chronic kidney disease. In order to improve bone health and quality of life in the general population, the impact of phosphorous, including in processed foods, should be considered, and measures to indicate the amount of phosphorous in food products should be implemented.
© 2012 International Life Sciences Institute.