Phosphate in the form of inorganic phosphate is a food additive found in many of our foods. It is a particle derived from phosphorus, a mineral that the body needs to build and repair bones and teeth, help nerves function, and make muscles contract.
Manufacturers add phosphate to food in order to keep it fresh for longer and to enhance its flavor. The additive is found in processed meat, ham, sausages, canned fish, baked goods, and soft drinks.
Normally, kidneys control how much of this mineral there is in the blood, and they help filter out the excess phosphate in the urine.
However, impaired kidneys struggle to flush out excessive levels, which is why scientists want manufacturers to label the amounts on their food labels.
Several studies show that inorganic phosphate correlates with a higher risk of mortality in people with kidney disease.
Moreover, in the general population, excess levels are also linked to a higher risk for heart disease.
Phosphate: Linked To Physical Activity, Exercise?
Americans are becoming couch potatoes. According to most recent statistics from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, less than 5 percent of the country’s adult population engage in 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
In addition, over 80 percent of U.S. adults do not follow the recommended guidelines for aerobic exercise and resistance training.
Why is this? New research may have found the answer and it’s the food additive inorganic phosphate.
Study Protocol And Results
Scientists at the University of Texas examined the link between inorganic phosphate and sedentary lifestyle in both mice and humans.
Two groups of healthy mice were fed the same diets; but, one group of mice received extra phosphate in the amount that is equivalent to that consumed by adults.
After twelve weeks, the mice on the mineral-enriched diet correlated spent significantly less time on the treadmill and had lower cardiac fitness compared to the control group.
In addition, these mice had an impaired fat-burning metabolism. Five thousand genes that help process fat and aid cell metabolism were altered in these mice.
In the second part of the study, 1,600 healthy people wore fitness trackers for 7 days, which allowed the scientists to monitor their exercise levels.
They found that higher levels in the blood correlated with more sedentary behavior and less time doing moderate to vigorous exercise.
Up to 25 percent of U.S. adults regularly consume between three and four times more phosphate than the recommended dose.