Contributions to Total Phosphorus Intake: All Sources Considered


  • Mona S. Calvo,

    1. Office of Applied Research and Safety Assessment, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Laurel, Maryland
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  • Jaime Uribarri

    1. Department of Medicine, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
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Address correspondence to: Jaime Uribarri, MD, One Gustave Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, Tel.: 212-241-1887, Fax: 212-369-9330, or e-mail:


High serum phosphorus is linked to poor health outcome and mortality in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients before or after the initiation of dialysis. Dietary intake of phosphorus, a major determinant of serum phosphorus, seems to be systematically underestimated using the available software tools and generalized nutrient content databases. Several sources of dietary phosphorus including the addition of phosphorus ingredients in food processing, and phosphorus content of vitamin and mineral supplements and commonly used over-the-counter or prescription medications are not fully accounted for by the nutrient content databases and software programs in current clinical use or used in large population studies. In this review, we explore the many unknown sources of phosphorus in the food supply to identify all possible contributors to total phosphorus intake of Americans that have escaped inclusion in past intake estimates. Our goal is to help delineate areas for future interventions that will enable tighter control of dietary phosphorus intake, a critical factor to maintaining health and quality of life in CKD and dialysis patients.