Send to

Choose Destination
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013 Oct;1301:1-8. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12208. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Potential health concerns of dietary phosphorus: cancer, obesity, and hypertension.

Author information

Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


Adult Americans typically consume on average 1400 mg, or more, of phosphorus (P) daily in meals, which almost doubles the recommended dietary allowance. After a meal phosphorus is rapidly absorbed at a high efficiency and hormonal mechanisms act swiftly to maintain the serum inorganic phosphate (Pi) concentration within fairly narrow limits. Both parathyroid hormone (PTH) and fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23) reduce serum phosphate during postprandial periods through homeostatic actions on the kidney. However, it is speculated that exposure of cells to a brief high-serum Pi concentration may signal alterations in cell functions that lead to deleterious effects. Elevation of serum FGF-23 or PTH may also be harmful to specific cell types. Examples of possible adverse health effects include cancer, obesity, and hypertension. Here I review potential mechanisms through which high-P intake may contribute to cell metabolic abnormalities and the development of chronic disease; high-dietary phosphorus, especially from foods processed with phosphate salts, may be associated with these chronic diseases. Further investigation is needed to establish the significance of high-phosphate diets within a large segment of the U.S. population with normal renal function.


chronic diseases; high-P diets; hormones; metabolic abnormalities

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center