Dietary Phosphorus Intake and the Kidney

Annu Rev Nutr. 2017 Aug 21:37:321-346. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064607. Epub 2017 Jun 14.


Although phosphorus is an essential nutrient required for multiple physiological functions, recent research raises concerns that high phosphorus intake could have detrimental effects on health. Phosphorus is abundant in the food supply of developed countries, occurring naturally in protein-rich foods and as an additive in processed foods. High phosphorus intake can cause vascular and renal calcification, renal tubular injury, and premature death in multiple animal models. Small studies in human suggest that high phosphorus intake may result in positive phosphorus balance and correlate with renal calcification and albuminuria. Although serum phosphorus is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease, progression of kidney disease, and death, limited data exist linking high phosphorus intake directly to adverse clinical outcomes. Further prospective studies are needed to determine whether phosphorus intake is a modifiable risk factor for kidney disease.

Keywords: GFR; chronic kidney disease; glomerular filtration rate; kidney function; phosphate; phosphorus.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet, Western / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Phosphorus, Dietary / adverse effects*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / etiology*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology


  • Phosphorus, Dietary