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Calcium-Phosphorous Balance Affects Bone Health
9 March 2002

Calcium and phosphorus are "co-dependent" nutrients affecting the health of bones and soft tissues.

Researchers recently completed a detailed study on the co-dependence of calcium and phosphorus on growth and bone development, which they presented at the National Osteoporosis Foundation Fifth International Symposium held March 9. Presenters included Dr. Robert Heaney of Creighton University, a principal scientist at Creighton's Osteoporosis Research Center; Dr. Ralph Shapiro of Product Safety Laboratories in Dayton NH; and Dr. John Anderson of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill NC.

The research could affect the formulation of many multi-vitamin and calcium supplement products, which sometimes use calcium phosphates as an excipient. (An excipient is used to shape medication into pill form.)

Bone disease can develop when calcium and phosphorus are not balanced and within good levels. When phosphorus is too high, the body takes calcium out of the bones to bind with the phosphorus and remove it from the blood. Bones become brittle as a result.

Dr. Heaney recommends that patients use a source with both calcium and phosphorus, "such as dairy products and/or a calcium phosphate supplement."

The balance of calcium and phosphorus can especially impact women over 60 whose diets often contain less than the recommended dietary allowance of 700 mg of phosphorus. Dr. Heaney states, "For these women, the usual calcium supplement, calcium carbonate, may block most of the absorption of phosphorus. If this happens, the calcium won't do much good because bone mineral consists of both calcium and phosphorus."

Phosphate makes up more than half the mass of bone mineral. Thus, the diet needs to have sufficient phosphorus in order to have healthy bones. Inadequate levels of phosphorus in the diet may be more widespread than previously thought.

Excessive levels of phosphorus in the diet can also cause problems, especially if the kidneys are not removing excess phosphorus from the bloodstream. High phosphorus food sources include milk and milk products (such as yogurt, cheese and ice cream), asparagus, biscuits, bran, cola drinks, corn, dried beans, oatmeal, nuts, sardines, spinach, and sweet potato.

Dr. Shapiro says, "Both calcium and phosphorus are needed to support an increase in bone mass. If the diet is low in phosphorus, calcium supplementation alone will be inadequate, and may aggravate a phosphorus deficiency. A phosphorus-containing calcium source would seem to be preferable to one providing calcium alone."

According to Dr. Anderson, "Individuals with low phosphorus intakes are at increased risk of low bone mass and fractures."

Source

Altmedicine.com news, (www.altmedicine.com/Article.asp?ID=3328).end-of-story

 

   
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