Mineral Spotlight: Phosphate


Mineral Spotlight: Phosphate

Phosphate is one of the 14 naturally-occurring dissolved minerals found in the geothermal waters at Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

Phosphate (PO43-) is a compound of the elements phosphorous and oxygen that is the most common source of phosphorous, an element necessary for life.

Phosphorous, mostly in the form of phosphates, is the most abundant mineral in your body except calcium. About 85 percent of it is calcium phosphate in your bones. Outside of the bones, calcium is important for helping nerves function and muscles contract. Calcium and phosphate in your blood are regulated to stay in balance—if calcium levels rise, phosphate levels will fall.

Phosphates are also considered vital for energy production and storage as well as activating hormones, repairing tissue, producing DNA and RNA, and recovering from soreness after a workout.

Adults need 700 milligrams a day, and most diets contain plenty. Leading sources of phosphate are salmon, yogurt, milk, halibut, turkey, chicken, beef, lentils and almonds. As with calcium, your body needs vitamin D to use phosphate.

Learn more about wellness and the healing benefits of soaking in geothermal springs at

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Gene Stowe

Gene Stowe was a reporter for The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer for 13 years and head of the writing program at Trinity School at Greenlawn, a four-time U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School in South Bend, Ind., for 10 years before he became a full-time freelance writer in 2008. His first book, Inherit the Land: Jim Crow Meets Miss Maggie’s Will, was published in 2006. He lives in Monroe, N.C.