Phosphorus (P) is a major component of mineralized tissue such as bone and teeth. Phosphates also are present in every cell of the body where they are involved in chemical energy transfer and enzyme regulation. Phosphorylation chemistry is part of carbohydrate, amino acid, and lipid metabolism. Along with calcium, P assimilation is regulated by vitamin D. Serum P levels may be affected by abnormal calcium, P or vitamin D metabolism, and the presence of chronic disease. Hyperphosphatemia is common in kidney disease. Symptoms of P excess will be related to the underlying condition causing the excess. High serum P levels have been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.
Phosphorus is found in most food sources and is a common ingredient of food additives. Up to 100% of the inorganic phosphorus found in processed foods (processed cheese and some soda (cola) drinks) may be absorbed.
Excess phosphorus may be confirmed by serum, packed blood cell (RBC) element analysis, or whole blood elements. If clinically indicated by patient symptoms or history, vitamin D levels may be assessed.
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