Normal Phosphate Levels

Phosphorus is vital mineral that the body needs for the growth and repair of cells and tissues. All body cells have phosphate and 85 percent is found in the bones and teeth. Along with calcium, phosphorus gives strength and structure. It is also needed for certain biochemical processes such as producing energy for the body and regulation of the acidic levels. It’s a component of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate used to fuel the body’s functions. It contains organic compounds such as adenosine, an organic compound that boosts cellular activity. However the energy released by ATP gets used quickly as larger amounts are not stored at one time. A lot of enzymes and hormones also have phosphate in them such as Hemoglobin.

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Phosphate level in the body is measured in milligrams of phosphorus per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). A normal range varies between 2.4 to 4.1 mg/dL and could also change depending upon the age. The test usually measures the amount of phosphate in the blood. The test id is performed with the help of a blood sample. A few days before the test has to take place, the doctors recommend that one stop taking certain medications like diuretics, laxatives and antacids as it can cause fluctuation in the results.

It is very important to know and have normal phosphate level in the body for strong bones and teeth as well as for the nervous system and muscular strength. Sometimes diseases in the kidneys, liver or bones can cause lower or abnormal phosphate levels in the body.

Given below are the ideal levels of phosphate in the body varying in age and sex:

Phosphate levels in males:

  • 0-12 months – Not established
  • 1-4 years – 4.3-5.4 mg/dL
  • 5-13 years – 3.7-5.4 mg/dL
  • 14-15 years – 3.5-5.3 mg/dL
  • 16-17 years – 3.1-4.7 mg/dL
  • 18 years or above – 2.5-4.5 mg/dL

Phosphate levels in females:

  • 0-12 months – Not established
  • 1-7 years – 4.3-5.4 mg/dL
  • 8-13 years – 4-5.2 mg/dL
  • 14-15 years – 3.5-4.9 mg/dL
  • 16-17 years – 3.1-4.7 mg/dL
  • 18 years or above – 2.5-4.5 mg/dL


Why we need normal phosphate level?

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  1. As compared to iron and calcium we do not pay much attention to the phosphorus amounts that we need to maintain in the body. When the level increases it is known as hyperphosphatemia and the following causes can be associated with it:
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Hypoparathyroidism
  • Kidney and Liver disease
  • Excessive consumption of vitamin D
  • Too much consumption of phosphate in diet
  • Using medications like phosphate-containing laxatives
  1. Similarly the body can experience lower levels of phosphorus or hypophosphatemia due to:
  • Alcoholism
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Very less intake of phosphate in the diet and poor nutrition intake
  • Less intake of Vitamin D
  1. The kidneys in the body are functional in controlling phosphate amounts in the blood. The extra amount gets filtered with the help of kidneys and passes out through urine. People with kidney diseases usually have a high level of phosphate in the blood. The amount of phosphate also affects calcium levels by reacting against each other. For instance, the phosphate levels fall when the blood calcium increases. PTH or parathyroid hormone controls the levels of calcium and phosphorus. For such reasons also both calcium and phosphate levels are usually measured at the same time.
  2. In order to check kidney and liver diseases also one needs to check levels of phosphorus. It is equally helpful in diagnosing problems related with bone diseases and certain glands like parathyroid glands.
  3. Its Quantification is also helpful for diagnosing and maintaining bones, parathyroid, heart diseases and other mental and physical disorders.

Foods high in phosphate

Essential food sources that provide ideal amount of phosphorus include protein rich foods such as meats, eggs, sea food, and dairy products especially milk and yoghurt, nuts, cereals and legumes as well as multi grains. Interestingly some carbonated beverages also serve the same purpose. Almost one fourth of the dietary phosphorus is consumed indirectly through food additives present in the processed foods. According to the Institute of Medicine’s, the daily allowance recommended for adults is almost 700 milligrams of phosphorus and the maximum amount is 4 grams per day. Anything above these recommended amounts is considered highly unsafe for the body.

However it is rare to find phosphorus deficiency in the body as a wide range of food items contain it. But in diseases such as thyroid, diabetes or Crohn’s disease and among children, the deficiency of phosphate can affect the growth of bones and teeth. One must consume equal amounts of Calcium and phosphorus to avoid any deficiency or abnormalities especially for bones, teeth, kidneys and liver.

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