Phosphorus, a mineral that is stored in bones, is responsible for maintaining cellular energy (the 'P' in ATP). Too much phosphorus, however, puts individuals with kidney disease at risk of cardiovascular events. On the flip side, low phosphorus is also in itself a disorder and has been shown to be caused by mutations along the mineral's metabolic pathways.
Phosphorus is an essential mineral that is required to build and repair all of the cells in your body. It's also essential for building genetic code, since phosphorus in DNA is essential for gene construction. Phosphorus helps your body to effectively utilize a variety of minerals and vitamins, including Vitamin D and iodine. It should come as no surprise that phosphorus is so important for your health when you consider all of the areas it's involved in.
Typically, phosphorus levels aren't a big concern for most people. Phosphorus is easily absorbed through food, and it is readily found in a variety of foods, including milk, grain, and other foods that most people eat. However, some people do have phosphorus that is too low or high, particularly if they suffer from certain health conditions or are taking medications.
Most people rid any excess phosphorus in their body easily, but some people who eat very high levels of dietary phosphorus but not dietary calcium or who suffer from kidney disease may have high phosphorus. High phosphorus can result in cardiovascular disease. High levels of phosphorus without correlating levels of calcium can cause problems in the careful balance between these minerals that maintains bone density and prevents osteoporosis.
Phosphorus levels can be affected by diseases like kidney disease or celiac disease, but it also turns out that phosphorus genetics can influence phosphorus levels in the body. One paper has linked seven gene loci in multiple chromosomes to levels of phosphorus in the blood, three of which were located near known genes that code for proteins involved in metabolizing phosphorus. Read more here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20558539
Understanding how genetics can affect your phosphorus levels can be helpful, especially if you have struggled with high or low phosphorus in the past. Phosphorus genetic testing may reveal that you are prone to chronic high or low phosphorus. This information can help you and your doctor to develop a medical care plan that takes into account your phosphorus genetics.
Knowing that your phosphorus levels are affected by your genetics may make it more likely that your doctor will offer a medication or a more permanent lifestyle change rather than encouraging you to cut out some foods or reduce a particular medication. Understanding that you naturally have high or low phosphorus also reveals information about underlying diseases that otherwise affect phosphorus levels, like kidney disease, celiac disease, or alcoholism.
A high or low phosphorus level may indicate to your doctor that you may have one of these conditions. However, knowing that you're genetically predisposed to high or low phosphorus through phosphorus genetic testing makes it less likely that one of these conditions is to blame.
Find out what your genes say about phosphorus levels in your body on Genomelink!