Calcium and Phosphorus are two Minerals that kind of go together, like a horse and carriage. Each is essential to your body, particularly in your development and maintenance of strong bones. Both are required to be consumed daily in relatively-large amounts, as compared with other essential minerals: 700 milligrams daily for Calcium, and 550 milligrams daily for Phosphorus, for younger adults — and, older adults require more Calcium, 1000 to 1200 milligrams daily. In its ionized chemical form, Calcium consists of positively-charged cations; whereas, Phosphorus consists of negatively-charged anions, but Phosphorus can also behave chemically in more-complicated ways.
Calcium in its elemental form is a light, yellowish-grey, alkaline metal, Number 20 in the Periodic Table of Elements, and the fifth most common element in the Earth’s crust. It is so chemically active that it doesn’t ever occur as a pure metal in Nature. It is believed to be essential to the metabolisms of all living creatures; and by mass it’s the most-common metallic element in animal bodies, including human bodies. 99% of the calcium in our bodies is in our bones and teeth; but the remaining 1% also serves important purposes in the transmission of signals through our nervous systems, and in the contractions of our muscles.
Phosphorus in the body
Phosphorus, Number 15 in the Periodic Table of Elements, has several different elemental forms or allotropes. The two most common allotropes are White Phosphorus and Red Phosphorus; the others are Violet Phosphorus and Black Phosphorus. These Phosphorus allotropes vary a lot as to their chemical reactivity, with White Phosphorus being the most reactive. Phosphorus comprises slightly under 0.1% of the Earth’s crust. However, like Calcium, Phosphorus is in general so chemically active that it doesn’t ever occur as a pure element in Nature. Also like Calcium, it is believed to be essential to the metabolisms of all living creatures. The average adult human body contains about 700 grams of Phosphorus, with 85% to 90% of that amount being located in bones and teeth. Human blood, however, contains usually about 400 milligrams of Phosphorus per liter; about 70% of that amount is in the form of organic Phosphorus compounds, and 30% of it is in the form of inorganic Phosphorus compounds. Cell walls contain a small-but-essential amount of Phosphorus. White Phosphorus glows faintly with greenish light whenever it oxidizes.
Calcium Deficiency and Phosphorus Deficiency
Calcium Deficiency and Phosphorus Deficiency are both uncommon in North America because both elements are widely available in many of our usual foods; however, Calcium Deficiency can frequently occur as a consequence of Vitamin D Deficiency, since Vitamin D is essential for the proper metabolization of Calcium. Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products are well-known good sources for Calcium; also most green leafy vegetables, okra, tofu, nuts, and sardines. Dairy foods are likewise good sources of Phosphorus, along with red meat, fish, chicken, turkey, other poultry, many kinds of bread, rice, and oats.
Signs of Calcium Deficiency
When it does occur, Calcium Deficiency leads to weak, soft, easily-broken bones, a condition which is called osteomalacia when it occurs in adults and rickets when it occurs in children. Broken hip bones, resulting from falls, are unfortunately very widespread among elderly people.
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