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Phosphorus is a mineral the body needs to function and for the cells to work well. Phosphorous is found in all parts of the body and is stored with calcium in the bones. Some of the phosphorus in the body exists as a charged particle (ion) called phosphate.
People who do not have enough phosphorus in their bodies may lose weight, feel weak, and have growth problems (particularly bone growth). Very low levels of phosphorus can impair breathing and brain function.
Foods high in phosphorus include dairy products (such as milk and cheese), meat, egg yolks, whole grains, peas, and nuts. People who drink large amounts of alcohol often have low phosphorus levels.
Last Revised: March 18, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Alan C. Dalkin, MD - Endocrinology
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