Effects of Phosphorus and Calcium to Phosphorus Consumption Ratio On Mineral Metabolism and Cardiometabolic Health

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Health Professions


Phosphorus is a common additive used in food processing that is typically consumed in excess of the recommended daily allowance; however, our knowledge of its effects on health, in the context of normal renal function, is limited. Unlike phosphorus, calcium intake is generally less than recommended, and it has been hypothesized that the calcium to phosphorus ratio may be partly responsible for the proposed negative health consequences. Therefore, this study sought to determine the effects of increased phosphorus additive intake, in the context of high calcium consumption, on endocrine markers of mineral metabolism and cardiometabolic health. An outpatient feeding study was performed in which healthy adults were fed a run-in control diet for 2 weeks followed by a phosphorus additive enhanced diet with supplemental calcium to an approximate ratio of 1 (experimental diet) for 2 weeks. Blood and urine samples were collected, and participants had brachial flow-mediated dilatation measured, with analyses comparing follow-up measures to baseline. Two weeks of experimental diet increased serum fibroblast growth factor 23 concentrations but lowered body weight and serum leptin; however, other phosphorus responsive factors such as osteopontin and osteocalcin did not increase. A complementary study in male mice also demonstrated that the regulation of known dietary phosphorus responsive factors was mostly abrogated when dietary calcium was raised in parallel with phosphorus. In conclusion, the study identifies weight, leptin and insulin as responsive to dietary phosphorus and that certain aspects of the systemic phosphorus response are attenuated by a corresponding high calcium intake.

Publication Title

Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry



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