What Are Main Calcium Phosphate Benefits?
Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the human body, which should hint at its importance. But you won’t hear too many people talking about how calcium phosphorous benefits health.
That’s because phosphorus is easy to obtain from a varied diet and it is never found hanging out in the body on its own!
In fact, ‘straight’ phosphorus is extremely unstable, so it’s always paired with other elements such as calcium, potassium, or sodium.
In Athletic Greens we use both calcium phosphate and potassium phosphate, and the latter you can read about in a separate article.
Here we focus on calcium phosphate benefits – of which there are many, though not all are scientifically proven, unfortunately.
Getting Enough Phosphorous Is Essential!
Think of phosphorus as an absolutely essential mineral for your existence! It is one of the building blocks upon which life is sustained.
When combined with calcium, you may not be too surprised to hear that it helps to build healthy bones and teeth. But that’s not all. It also makes up cell membranes (as ‘phospholipids’) and forms the backbone of DNA.
As if that wasn’t enough, phosphorus powers cells in the form of ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate), helps them ‘talk’ to each other, and allows your nervous system to send and receive electrical impulses.
It’s cool that something so important is found relatively easily in food. In fact, it’s found in virtually all foods, but particularly in protein-rich meats, eggs, and dairy.
We’ll get into the range of calcium phosphorous benefits in a second. But, first, did you know that the name ‘phosphorous’ is derived from the Greek words ‘light’ and ‘carry’, so it loosely translates as ‘light-bringer’?
Why? When solid or liquid phosphorus reacts with oxygen, light is emitted for a short time. You might have witnessed this in action as phosphorescence: in nature with tiny, glowing creatures in the sea, or in man-made flares and matches.
Proven Calcium Phosphate Benefits
It’s quite a task to try to summarize the major benefits of calcium phosphate, because of the use of phosphate in nearly every bodily process – from the DNA to everything that comes after it!
An additional complication is that phosphate is never supplemented on its own. It always needs to be taken in a balance with other minerals; especially calcium – and that’s what we focus on here.
Let’s start with the proven clinical applications of phosphorus-containing supplements, which include:
✔ Treating hypophosphatemia
This is a condition where levels of phosphorus in the body are low – and supplementing has been proven to help, in a recent study from the University of Maryland.
✔ Treating hypercalcemia
The same study also suggested that phosphorus-containing supplements can help with high blood-calcium levels.
✔ Treating calcium-based kidney stones
Because of its ability to reduce calcium levels, it has also been applied to the treatment of calcium-based kidney stones.
Studies have also associated calcium phosphate with the following:
→ Healthy bones and teeth
It has been shown that bones need more than just calcium; they require complementary minerals, too.
Calcium phosphate (sometimes referred to as hydroxyapatite), is vital for building strong bones and teeth according to a 2012 study.
→ Improved cognitive function
Lower levels of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus are strongly associated with cognitive decline in the elderly, according to a very recent study.
Other Calcium Phosphate Benefits
Besides the medical uses and applications outlined above, supplemental phosphorus has also been associated with:
→ Maintenance of the body’s acid/alkaline balance
Phosphorus acts as a ‘buffer’, helping maintain an incredibly narrow pH range in the blood and the correct pH levels in the rest of the body (these change, depending on the part of the body in question).
→ Maintaining healthy metabolism
Phosphorus is important for activating B-group vitamins such as riboflavin and niacin, which in turn metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
→ Kidney health
Not too much, not too little! The kidneys require precise levels of electrolytes such as phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium to balance uric acid, sodium, fluids, and fats.
→ For energy and oxygenation
One type of phosphorus molecule binds to haemoglobin (the iron-transporting protein) and helps it do its job of delivering iron to cells and tissues.
→ Reducing colon cancer risk
Some research suggests that optimal phosphorus levels are associated with a reduced risk of cancer; specifically, colon cancer.
How To Safely Enjoy The Benefits Of Calcium Phosphate
For adults, 700 mg of phosphorus can be taken daily, with slightly higher intakes for young, pregnant women.
Excess phosphate intake can result in hyperphosphatemia (problematically high blood-phosphate levels). This is linked to cardiovascular disease in individuals with impaired kidney function.
Caution is advised for people taking antacids, diuretics, or heart medications.
Why Supplement With Calcium Phosphate?
Thanks to the ubiquitous nature of phosphorus, it’s theoretically required for everything that the body does.
This includes growth, development, muscle contraction, the use of other vitamins and minerals, nerve function, healing, repair, digestion, and more. That’s pretty much the works!
Being readily available from food, studies on the benefits of phosphorous are relatively limited to date. Many of its perceived benefits remain unproven in humans.
However, as we have seen, some research supports phosphorus supplementation, alongside other minerals, for bone health and cognitive function.
For instance, phosphorus, along with calcium and vitamin D, have been shown to be important for bone mineralization in infants.
Taking this into account, supplementation with calcium phosphate might be of particular use to the elderly and for some children deficient in these minerals.
With more research, the benefits of calcium phosphate may extend further to include cancer prevention, pH balance, kidney health, and energy production.
On the shelves of health stores, you will probably see it most commonly in bone health formulas, alongside other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, and boron - and sometimes with vitamins D3 and K2.
As a standalone supplement, it is unlikely that you will come across phosphorus.
In Athletic Greens, phosphorus works well with calcium, magnesium, and manganese to maintain strong and healthy bones. This can help to prevent osteoporosis.
It is also well complemented by the most “green” ingredients in Athletic Greens, such as spirulina, chlorella, barley leaf and wheatgrass. All of these ingredients may play a role in helping to maintain the correct pH in the body.