Paresthesias (prickling, tingling, or creeping of the skin) in the arm, hands, legs, or feet
Ataxia (loss of voluntary muscular coordination)
Phosphorus toxicity is rare in people with normal kidney function. However, those with
impaired kidney function
may experience hyperphosphatemia, or elevated levels of phosphorus in the blood. Hyperphosphatemia can result in decreased levels of calcium in the blood and overproduction of parathyroid hormone, which can lead to bone loss. Calcium phosphate can deposit in various organs such as blood vessels, joints, lungs, kidneys. Hyperphosphatemia in kidney failure patients is a major cardiovascular risk factor.
Major Food Sources
The major food sources of phosphorus are milk, meats, poultry, fish, cereals, and legumes. About 20%-30% of dietary phosphorus comes from food additives.
Trail mix, regular, with chocolate chips, salted nuts, and seeds
Cheese sauce, prepared from recipe
Milk, canned, evaporated, nonfat
Biscuit with egg and sausage
Pancakes with butter and syrup
Baking powder, double-acting, straight phosphate
Halibut, Atlantic and Pacific, cooked, dry heat
Ricotta cheese, part skim milk
Duck, domesticated, meat only, roasted
Barley, pearled, raw
Salmon, cooked, dry heat
Soybeans, mature cooked, boiled, without salt
Sardine, Atlantic, canned in oil, drained solids with bone
Wheat flour, whole grain
Pollock, walleye, cooked, dry heat
Buckwheat flour, whole groat
Cheeseburger, large, single meat patty, with bacon and condiments
Beef liver, pan-fried
Phosphorus plays an important role in the formation of bones. Levels of phosphorus in the body are closely tied to levels of calcium, another mineral instrumental for bone health. The kidneys work to maintain the proper ratio between these two minerals. One study, however, found that high dietary phosphorus can cause increased calcium loss, which, in turn, can cause a decrease in bone density and
Tips for Lowering Your Phosphorus Intake
For most people, the kidneys regulate the amount of phosphorus in the body. But people whose kidneys are not functioning properly may need to limit the amount of phosphorus in their diets.
Dietary intake of phosphorus is difficult to limit because the mineral is found in so many foods. The following is a list of specific foods within larger food categories that contain particularly high levels of phosphorus and should be avoided.
Dairy: Limit your daily intake of milk and milk products to one serving per day.
Fin fish such as salmon, pollock, walleye, flounder, sole, tuna, haddock, and swordfish
Block GA, Port FK. Re-evaluation of risks associated with hyperphosphatemia and hyperparathyroidism in dialysis patients: Recommendations for a change in management.
Am J Kidney Dis.
Cannata-Andia JB, Rodriguez-Garcia M. Hyperphosphataemia as a cardiovascular risk factor-how to manage the problem.
Nephrol Dial Transplant.
Minerals: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and the electrolytes. In: Garrison RH Jr, Somer E.
The Nutrition Desk Reference
. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing; 1995:165-168.
Phosphorus. In: Standing Committee on the Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes Food and Nutrition Board Institute of Medicine.
Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride
. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 2000:146-189.
Phosphorus: Reducing it in your Diet. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research website. Available at:
. Accessed November 27, 2002.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a