Phosphorous makes up less than 1% of a persons body weight, yet it is found in every cell 1.
In the body, it is found as phosphate, PO43-.
There are two key uses of phosphorus in the body:
- It is needed in bones and teeth (as apatite, a mineral of phosphorus).
- To produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
ATP is often known as the energy currency of cells and transfers energy in cells.
Image reproduced according to the licence at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Adenosintriphosphat_protoniert.svg
Cells, essentially get energy from ATP by decomposing ATP into ADP (adenosine diphosphate) + inorganic phosphorus (PO43-).
ATP –> ADP + P i
This process releases about 20 kJ of energy per mole.
Good sources of phosphorous in the body includes milk and meat and deficiencies of the mineral are almost unheard of.
1Reference taken from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002424.htm