The impact of phosphorus on our health

Too much or too little phosphorus and its consequences for health(y aging)

When phosphorus in our bodies is too low or too high, many organs are disturbed, leading to different diseases but also to affected healthy aging. Researchers from Erasmus Medical Center and Kyowa Kirin Pharma will join forces to unravel the causes and consequences of disturbed phosphorus homeostasis.

Patients with low phosphorus suffer from disturbances in skeletal, muscular, brain and other organ functions. On the other end of the spectrum is the general population that consumes too much phosphorus from the diet, which has been associated with mortality, cardiovascular diseases and renal complications. Knowledge and awareness are key to make everyone realise that phosphorus homeostasis is crucial for a healthy life and healthy aging. 

Teh consortium partners will do this by bringing together findings from fundamental studies and population- and patient-related studies. The fundamental studies will focus on the precise control of the most important regulator of phosphate homeostasis, fibroblast growth factor 23. Furthermore, they will try to identify so-called phosphate sensors, that can ‘sense’ the phosphorus concentration in our blood. These have not been found in humans yet. In large population studies, they will investigate the link between phosphorus levels in our blood and damaging consequences for various organs, such as kidney, heart, lung and skeleton. Finally, patients with unexplained low phosphorus levels will be investigated to potentially identify new factors that are crucial for phosphorus homeostasis. Only by this combination, they will create added value in obtaining crucial insights into the regulation and impact of phosphorus in our body. Ultimately, the integrated knowledge on phosphorus will lead to improved care of patients with disturbed phosphorus metabolism, adaptation of clinical guidelines and revision of dietary guidelines on phosphorus intake but also labelling of phosphorus content on food products with the aim of improving health and healthy aging of the total population world-wide.

Phosphorus homeostasis is crucial for many processes in our body and when this is disturbed, many systems in our body are affected. In this project, the consequence of too little or too much phosphorus will be investigated in cell and animal models and in population studies.
Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
1 - 3
Time period
4 years