What Is the Connection between Phosphorus and Calcium?

Jackie Myers

The amount of phosphorus in the blood affects the level of calcium in the blood. Phosphorus levels fall when the blood calcium levels rise. The connection between phosphorus and calcium may be interrupted when infections or diseases occur. As a result, experts prefer to measure blood levels of calcium and phosphorus together.

Bananas contain calcium.
Bananas contain calcium.

Phosphorus and calcium are the most abundant minerals in the body and work together to build strong teeth and bones. Waste in the kidneys is filtered out by phosphorus, which also regulates how the body will use and store energy. Having too much phosphorus in the body can become a problem because as phosphate levels rise, the body requires more calcium. A balance of phosphorus and calcium is necessary for healthy bone density as well as the prevention of osteoporosis.

Milk is a good source of calcium.
Milk is a good source of calcium.

In healthy kidneys, phosphorus and calcium have a balanced relationship. When the kidneys fail to function properly, the lack of balance may cause calcification to occur, which is difficult to detect. Excess amounts of calcium and phosphorus bind together to create hard calcium deposits. These calcium deposits can build up in vital organs and cause the tissues to harden.

To reduce the risk of serious health problems, patients with kidney problems should be careful not to consume too much calcium. Nutritionists recommend that chronic kidney disease patients limit the amount of phosphorous entering their body. Dialysis sessions help to remove phosphorus from the kidneys.

For every gram of phosphorus included in a diet, the body has to match that amount with another gram of calcium. This has to occur so that the phosphorus can be absorbed through the intestines and enter the bloodstream. If the necessary amount of calcium is not found in the diet, the body will take calcium from deposits in the bone. Phosphorus and calcium must be balanced in the diet to prevent this from happening.

Poor phosphorus intake results in an abnormally low serum phosphate level. This condition is referred to as hypophosphatemia. The effects of inadequate phosphorus levels include muscle weakness, anemia, rickets, and an increased susceptibility to infections.

Low levels of calcium may indicate an electrolyte imbalance called hypocalcemia. It causes nerves and muscles to twitch and go into spasm. Patients with this condition report report cramps in their legs or arms.

Dialysis patients should limit their intake of both phosphorus and calcium.
Dialysis patients should limit their intake of both phosphorus and calcium.

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