Phosphorus & Sodium
The information presented is based on Cellular trace mineral analysis - not Serum / Blood measurements.
RDA / DRI, synergists, antagonists, side effects, and deficiency / overdose / toxicity symptoms are listed on bottom of page.
Phosphorus (P) and Sodium (Na) are associated minerals, and considered essential to human health.
When using intracellular measurements, phosphorus and sodium allow for unique diagnostic and therapeutic
properties regarding renal functions, where in contrast to their serum status, cellular levels extend from a low
degenerative, to a high inflammatory range. Both kidneys are capable of handling the entire range of
renal functions, but the right kidney tends to control sodium-related aspects, and the left kidney protein /
phosphorus-related aspects, provided both kidneys are present, and in reasonable health.
While this may initially sound strange to some uninformed practitioners, it makes a lot of
sense once the reasons are analyzed why in a high percentage of cases, patients end
up with only one-sided kidney disturbances, whether they be infections, kidney stones,
or other problems.
It is not unusual to hear of patients who produce hundreds, or even thousands of
kidney stones in one kidney only, but never the other, unless the first involved kidney
When comparing the chemical profiles of a kidney donor and the kidney recipient before
and after surgery, one gains a wealth of information on individual kidney functions and
how to assist in their efficiency without drugs, and how they are not equal in maintaining pH balance, which
can be very easily measured in both, the donor and recipient, after either the left or right kidney is donated.
For instance, when a patient presents with a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), a cellular analysis will reveal the
involvement and extent of the condition:
If the bladder is affected, there is a significant rise in potassium.
If the right kidney is affected, there is a significant rise in sodium.
If the left kidney is affected, there is a significant rise in phosphorus.
Treatments can be formulated accordingly - either by prescribing conventional medications (if not familiar with
nutritional concepts), or by simply lowering elevated levels pertaining to the above indicators, using common
nutritional or biochemical principles:
Intracellular tests will identify the appropriate minerals / nutrients which will be low in ratio to the one(s)
corresponding to the infection, and will thus help identify a (contributing) cause, provide a treatment, and
establish a basis for future prevention. While potassium supplementation could be theoretically considered
with right-sided kidney infections, it has to be used with caution because of its pro-inflammatory effect on
the bladder when high, and in the event of a kidney and bladder infection, potassium would have to be
lowered along with sodium.
Foot odor is almost entirely related to kidney functions, and only to a lesser degree to tight, enclosed shoes.
Similarly, Fungal Infections such as Athlete's Foot (tinea pedis), can only take place when the "terrain"
allows the spread of a fungus - with the terrain being determined by the chemical
make-up of the foot sweat of people with reduced or impaired kidney functions.
Anyone with healthy kidneys can walk across a wet gym floor and will not end up
with athlete's foot. Normalizing renal chemistry (i.e. sodium, protein / phosphates)
will normalize the chemical composition of someone's foot sweat, followed by the
disappearance of any fungal infections, as well as foot odor.
Phosphorus, when high in ratio to calcium, is well established as being a contributing factor with osteopenia
or osteoporosis, and many articles have been published on the risks of consuming too many soft drinks due
to their high phosphorus content. A similar message is being preached regarding protein, supposedly having
the same effect on calcium loss. Forgetting about the hype or agenda for a moment, any viewpoint can be
correct for specific individuals, but it cannot be applied for everyone, as there are as many people who exhibit
below-normal protein / phosphates, as are those who are above-normal, so only individual assessments are
Osteoporosis and arthritic complaints can develop with high and low protein / phosphate levels, which subse-
quently rules out any "one-size-fits-all"- types of recommendations.
Long-term monitoring of patients shows high / low sodium-related cases being more right-sided in regard to
joint damage, while high / low protein + phosphate-related cases are generally more left-sided in regard to
joint damage, so striking a happy medium goes a long way in the prevention of many of these problems.
Phosphorus and calcium metabolism is linked, and requires Vitamin D for adequate uptake. Blood levels of
phosphorus are increased by parathyroid hormone, and decreased by the thyroid hormone calcitonin. The
kidneys excrete phosphates if blood levels rise, and they excrete less when dietary phosphate intake is low.
Phosphorus is present as Phytates in grains and cereals, so if bread is made
from unleavened flour, the phytic acid will bind to iron, calcium, zinc and other
minerals and reduce their rate of absorption.
Phosphorus aids muscle contraction, acts as a buffer for acid-base balance in
the body, helps regulate the heartbeat, and supports proper nerve conduction.
It is also necessary for the conversion of niacin and riboflavin to their active
Hormonal control of sodium (as well as chloride and potassium) balance is regulated by the adrenal cortex
hormones as well as by the anterior pituitary gland. Addison's Disease is a life-threatening disease
caused by partial or complete failure of the adrenal cortex and involves the loss of sodium and potassium.
Symptoms include weakness, muscle cramps, loss of appetite, weight loss, cold sensitivity, and salt craving.
Other sodium deficiencies can result from heavy sweating, or with severe dietary restriction, i.e. low sodium
formulas fed to infants caused their brains to swell, causing death. Sodium plays a vital role in controlling
osmotic pressure, which develops between the blood and cells due to ionic concentration differences, and it
assists in maintaining the proper acid-base balance by balancing charges of negatively charged ions such as
chloride, phosphate and bicarbonate.
The total volume of extracellular fluid is determined by sodium levels, while sodium concentration and water
balance are controlled by the interplay of the kidneys and a number of hormones. When the level of sodium
drops, the kidney releases the enzyme renin.
Renin catalyzes the conversion of a blood protein to angiotensin, which in turn stimulates the adrenal gland to
release aldosterone, a hormone that causes the kidney to increase the rate of sodium reabsorption to correct
the original sodium depletion. When dietary sodium intake is high, the kidneys rapidly excretes sodium, but
its retention can lead to edema / water retention. ¤
Cellular / Intracellular Attributes and Interactions:
Germanium, manganese, nickel, Vitamin C,
niacin, niacinamide,Vitamin D, lecithin, protein.
Phosphorus Antagonists / Inhibitors:
Calcium, zinc, potassium, boron, bismuth, Vitamin B5,
Note: Extended-release niacin + laropiprant
(to reduce LDL cholesterol) lowers serum phosphorus.
Silicon / silica, iron, cobalt, choline, Vitamin E,
Vitamin B1, Vit B12, [Vitamin B6 short-term].
Sodium Antagonists / Inhibitors:
Magnesium, potassium, zinc, lithium, Vitamin B2,
folate, [Vitamin B6 long-term].
Low Levels / Deficiency - Symptoms and/or Risk Factors:
Osteoporosis, joint / bone pain, arthritis, weakness,
weight loss, higher WBC, higher risk for several
cancers, dehydration, kidney stones.
Fatigue, depression, mental apathy, low blood
pressure, headaches, dehydration, confusion,
dizziness, arthritis, kidney stones, seizures,
In some cases: greater risk for LDL-related heart
disease, high blood pressure, or edema.
Osteoporosis, arthritis, gout, dental problems
(loose teeth, cavities), skin eruptions, lowered WBC,
higher risk for several cancers, kidney stones.
High levels / Overdose / Toxicity / Negative Side Effects - Symptoms and/or Risk Factors:
Edema, hypertension, stroke, dizziness, gout,
headaches, kidney damage, kidney stones,
stomach problems, nausea, vomiting, coma.
Meat, fish, grains, dairy products, seeds, nuts,
eggs, most fruits and vegetables, soft drinks.
Meat, fish, dairy products, celery, table salt,
canned foods and soups, baking soda, MSG. ¤
When selectively overdosing on phosphorus / protein or sodium beyond an individual's renal capacity, and
provided both kidneys are equally healthy at the start, the right kidney will become diseased first with sodium,
and the left one first with phosphorus (or protein). Very one-sided diets, or long-term use of specific drugs
can affect both kidneys differently as well.
Despite its essential requirement, sodium (salt) tends to suffer a bad reputation as a result of being linked to
cardiovascular disease and stroke. While one cannot dispute its involvement, sodium only affects about one
third of the population in that regard. The rest can be divided among those where:
• someone's health is largely unaffected by the amount of salt (sodium chloride) consumed,
• adequate sodium / salt intake is necessary to help counteract a tendency for low blood pressure and
low sodium-related symptoms, such as dehydration, depression, fatigue, spinal / joint degeneration,
muscle cramps..., as well as help reverse higher LDL / HDL cholesterol ratios.
While the liver largely controls total cholesterol, kidney chemistry has a
primary effect on LDL / HDL ratios, whereby low phosphorus and protein
encourage a higher production of VLDL triglycerides, while low sodium en-
courages a higher production of LDL cholesterol.
As a result, low sodium can actually increase the risk for heart disease,
but reduces the risk for stroke, while high sodium, by reducing atherogenic
development (arterial clogging), decreases the risk for some types of heart
disease, however it dramatically raises the risk for stroke when potassium
levels fall below those of sodium.
On the other hand, a high sodium / magnesium ratio, and/or a high phosphorus / calcium ratio are
implicated with some forms of gout. Depending how efficient the body is in recycling chloride, low salt
intake can also be a reason for reduced stomach acid levels.
• salt should be used sparingly due to very low Aldosterone Levels, which are inhibited even more
by higher salt intake. People who are sodium-sensitive generally are well aware of their problem, as
they quickly retain extra water when ingesting larger amounts of salt, or their blood pressure goes up,
however there are those who respond the opposite, where for instance drinking a medium-sized glass
of water saturated with common table salt will have them keep running to the bathroom some time
later, with some individuals losing perhaps as much as 10-15 lb of water weight. This is similar to the
opposing effect of simple sugar consumption on hypoglycemia versus hyperglycemia.
In such a case, the strategy is not to increase someone's salt intake (which would otherwise cause
more dehydration), but to boost aldosterone levels, which will subsequently increase sodium retention.
Nutritional factors such as choline, licorice, iron, Vitamin B1, and - to a small extent - Vitamin E can be
used for that purpose, which should be matched to individual requirements.
Occasionally I see patients exhibiting very low sodium and medication-resistant high blood pressure, in which
case sodium-raising supplements - by normalizing blood viscosity - resolve their hypertension.
Since an individual's Renal Capacity declines over a lifetime, it may be prudent for anyone - especially those
with a family history of kidney problems - to avoid drugs, medications, or foods and nutritional supplements
that have a tendency to compromise kidney functions and accelerate that process. Most prescription drugs,
particularly blood thinners and NSAIDs, and many OTC drugs (Aspirin, Ibuprofen...) have a detrimental effect
on renal functions, so patients and their practitioners have to carefully weigh a drug's benefits against those
Dietary factors that - in excess - have an unfavorable impact on kidney functions include foods with a high
Oxalic Acid content such as found in rhubarb, Swiss chard, spinach, parsley, cocoa products, and beets
(especially beet greens), very high protein diets that are followed for longer periods of time, high phosphorus-
containing foods or beverages (meats, seafood, eggs, grains, dairy, nuts, soft drinks), excessive amounts of
alcohol, creatine supplements, as well as real (glycyrrhizin-containing) licorice.
The same applies to insufficient intake of calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, Vitamin K, Vitamin C with
bioflavonoids, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), and other essential nutrients. Of course
a single, major kidney infection (e.g. from E. Coli) may cause enough kidney damage to result in early hyper-
tension, or even require dialysis.
2013 Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) - Recommended Dietary Allowance / Intake (RDA / RDI) for
Adults, Children, Pregnancy & Nursing - Adequate Intake (AI) - Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL)
9-13 years males
14-18 years males
19 + years males
9 -13 years females
14-18 years females
19 + years females
700mg - 1,250mg
700mg - 1,250mg
9-13 years males
14-50 years males
51 + years males
9 -13 years females
14-50 years females
51 + years females
1,200mg - 1,300mg AI
1,200mg - 1,300mg AI
UL: 3,000mg - 4,000mg
Therapeutic Range: 700mg - 3,200mg +
Best time to take Phosphorus: Anytime during the
day, with food, preferably with no other supplements
taken within a 2-hour period.
UL: 1,500mg - 2,300mg
Therapeutic Range: 2,0000 mg - 12,000 mg +
Best time to take Sodium: Morning and evening,
10 - 12 hours apart, if taken as sodium chloride (i.e.
for infants / children).
General recommendations for nutritional supplementation: To avoid stomach problems and improve tolerance,
supplements should be taken earlier, or in the middle of a larger meal. When taken on an empty stomach or
after a meal, there is a greater risk of some tablets causing irritation, or eventually erosion of the esophageal
sphincter, resulting in Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). It is also advisable not to lie down right after
taking pills. When taking a large daily amount of a single nutrient, it is better to split it up into smaller doses
to not interfere with the absorption of other nutrients in food, or nutrients supplemented at lower amounts.
Copyright © 2000-2013 Acu-Cell Nutrition - Sodium & Phosphorus
Vitamin B2, chromium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, folate
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), calcium, zinc
Vitamin B3/4, chromium, magnesium, manganese, sulfur