Along with calcium, phosphorus is a component of bones and teeth. Phosphorus plays an important role in bone mineralization.
Phosphorus is also a component of all cell membranes. It is involved in the metabolism of both fats and carbohydrates, as well as in the protein synthesis necessary to the growth, maintenance, and repair of the body’s cells and tissues. In the form of phospholipids, it makes the membranes more permeable so that lipids can pass through more readily and be transported throughout the body.
In fact, phosphorus facilitates hundreds of metabolic reactions in the body. Two examples are the emulsification of fats and the breaking down of stored glycogen into its glucose components.
Phosphorus has many other functions, among them assisting with muscle contraction and nerve conduction and helping to regulate the heartbeat. Phosphorus is also a component of the nucleic acids DNA and RNA, and as the main intracellular buffering agent, phosphorus helps maintain acid/base balance. Phosphorus also facilitates the availability of oxygen for delivery to the red blood cells.