Tuesday 24 June 2014

Soft Drinks and Phosphorus Imbalance

Phosphorus is an essential macromineral second only to calcium in terms of its presence in the body. Most of the phosphorus in humans is found in the calcium phosphate crystals in bone and teeth. However, it is also required in energy metabolism and for the structure of DNA. The ratio of phosphorus to calcium is important in the diet because when the ratio tips in favour of phosphorus, the risk of osteoporosis increases significantly. The dietary calcium to phosphorus ratio should be around 2:1. This balance can be tipped in favour of phosphorus is high meat intakes and large quantities of soft drinks are consumed. This is because the calcium to phosphorus ratio of meat is about 20:1, whereas soft drinks contain phosphorus but no calcium. The higher the phosphorus intake in respect to the calcium intake, the more calcium is excreted in the urine, and this is why the risk of osteoporosis increases. A good way to restore the correct ratio is to eat more vegetables such as legumes which are good sources of calcium and low in phosphorus.

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