How to Lower Serum Phosphorus

strawberry yogurt
Yogurt can contain more than half of your daily recommended phosphorus intake. (Image: loooby/iStock/Getty Images)

Phosphorus is an essential mineral your body needs for maintaining healthy bones, cell membranes and energy production, but overconsuming phosphorus can cause high serum levels of phosphate, also known as hyperphosphatemia, especially in people with kidney problems. High serum phosphorus can have serious health effects, including calcification of nonskeletal tissues and organ damage. Lower your risk of hyperphosphatemia with few dietary and lifestyle changes.

Step 1

Reduce your intake of high-phosphorous meats, such as salmon, halibut, organ meats, sardines and pollock, using beef, pork, lamb, poultry and other fish instead.

Step 2

Use low-phosphorous vegetables, such as potato, squash, cabbage, beets, carrots, cucumbers, tomato, onions and lettuce. Avoid vegetables that contain higher levels of phosphorus, such as peas, beans, lentils, corn, sweet potato, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli and spinach.

Step 3

Avoid dairy products such as milk, yogurt, ice cream and hard cheeses. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, milk has 250 mg and yogurt has 385 mg of phosphorus in an 8 oz. serving. Use rice milk, nondairy creamers, cream cheese and sherbet instead.

Step 4

Reduce your intake of whole grain products that contain high levels of phosphorus. Use refined grains and products made from refined grains instead. One slice of whole wheat bread has 57 mg of phosphorous, while enriched white bread has only 25 mg. However, whole grains are important sources of dietary fiber that might help reduce your risk for many health conditions and obesity. Ensure adequate fiber intake by eating vegetables.

Step 5

Drink water, ginger ale, lime soda and root beer instead of cola drinks.

Step 6

Avoid over-using enemas that contain phosphate salts. Your body can absorb these salts, leading to hyperphosphatemia.

Step 7

Eat vitamin and mineral supplements that contain no or only low levels of phosphorus.

Tip

The Linus Pauling Institute recommends adults get 700 mg and teens 1,250 mg of phosphorous every day. The tolerable upper intake level of phosphorous is 4,000 mg for adults and teens.

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