What Is The Calcium To Phosphate Ratio And Why Is It Important?
By Tyler Woodward
Calcium and phosphorus are two electrolytes that are abundantly found in the body and play a number of essential roles in regulating the body's metabolism.
- What Are Calcium And Phosphorous
- Functions Of Calcium And Phosphorous
- How Are Calcium And Phosphorous Metabolism Regulated
- Balancing The Calcium:Phosphate Ratio
- Best Sources Of Calcium
- Best Sources Of Phosphorous
What Are Calcium And Phosphorous:
Calcium is the 20th element of the periodic table and again is an essential electrolyte. Calcium is a positively charged electrolyte, generally carrying a charge of +2 in the cell.
Phosphorus is the 15th element in the periodic table and is an essential electrolyte in the human body. Phosphorus is the 11th most abundant element on Earth and makes up about 1% of the human body weight. Phosphorus is a negatively charged electrolyte carrying a -2 charge intracellularly and is used in the body for a variety of functions.
Functions Of Calcium And Phosphorous:
- Formation Of Bones And Teeth
- Energy Production
- Produce DNA & RNA
- Contract Muscles and Nerves
- Forms Phospholipids (Phosphorous)
- Helps Regulate Hormones (Calcium)
How Are Calcium And Phosphorus Metabolism Regulated?:
The metabolism of phosphorus is a complex process that is regulated by multiple hormones and organ systems. Phosphorus is first absorbed in the gut where it enters into the bloodstream. From there phosphorus can either remain in the bloodstream to be or be absorbed by cells for use as DNA/RNA or energy, enter the bones or be excreted by the kidneys. Phosphorus metabolism is primarily regulated by the parathyroid hormone and vitamin/ hormone D.
Vitamin D is responsible for regulating the absorption of both calcium and phosphorus through the intestinal tract. Parathyroid hormones regulate the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the serum (blood), maintaining adequate levels of both in the bloodstream. Elevated parathyroid hormone causes the body to break down hydroxyapatite in the bones which is made up of both calcium and phosphorus. Parathyroid also elevated the production of calcitriol (the active form Vitamin D) in which also increases calcium reabsorption in the kidneys and phosphorus excretion in the kidneys. The leaching of calcium from our bones via parathyroid hormone can also increase the likelihood of soft tissue calcification or the hardening of arteries among other soft tissue structures.
Balancing The Calcium:Phosphorus Ratio:
In order to maintain a positive balance between phosphorus and calcium it's important to consume adequate amounts of both calcium and phosphorus. Although there is not a complete agreement on how much calcium you should consume relative to phosphorus more estimates fall around a a 1.5-2 mg calcium per mg of phosphorus, but a minimum of 1:1 is recommended.. It’s extremely important to maintain this ratio in order to keep your bones and teeth properly mineralized, allowing them to maintain their bone density over time. Generally, phosphorus is much easier to consume as it is found in some quantity in nearly every food from grains to meats, so it’s easier to focus on consuming adequate amounts of calcium relative to the phosphorus.
The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for phosphorus is 700mg, but this is a general guideline, as it will vary depending on your calcium and magnesium intake in addition to your height, weight and likely activity level. The RDA of calcium for adults is 1,000mg daily, but I would aim to consume closer to 1,100 -1,400 mg of calcium daily to maintain a good calcium:phosphate ratio.
Best Sources Of Calcium:
- Milk and Dairy Products (also contains phosphorus, but contains much higher amounts of calcium relative to phosphorus)
- Bone Broth
- Leaf Broths
Best Food Sources Of Phosphorus:
- Muscle Meats (including beef, pork and chicken)
Additionally, eggshells and shellfish shells are a highly absorbable form of calcium that can be grinded up and added into a smoothie or ground beef to help to maintain the balance of calcium and phosphorus.
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My goal in writing this article, as always, is to provide you with logically-based principles that you can use to form your own conclusions regarding any information you may come across within this subject. I really hope you found this article interesting and if you have anything to add to this article, or any comments or criticism, feel free to reach out to me on our facebook groups or on Instagram @tylerwoodward_fit. And please feel free to share this article with anyone that might be interested!
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Until next time… be good