High Intake of Dietary Phosphate May Be Associated with Skin Cancer


Results of a study published in Cancer Prevention Research concluded that a high dietary intake of phosphate promotes tumor formation in an animal model of skin cancer.

Researchers applied a carcinogen found in cigarette smoke (dimethylbenzanthracene) to the skin of mice and then applied another chemical that stimulates cell growth. Mice were then fed a high phosphate diet (1.2% by weight) or a low phosphate diet
(0.2 percent). Those fed a high phosphate diet had 50 percent more skin papilla (initial stage of skin cancer development) compared to those on a low phosphate diet.

Although phosphate is a very important nutrient its intake has
increase dramatically over the past 30 years according public health researchers who say it has been added as an additive in processed foods such as meats, baked goods and soft drinks.

The researchers estimated a human dietary equivalent to the high phosphate diet of the mice would be 1,800 milligrams daily and that is a level many humans match or exceed. The human equivalent of a low phosphate diet would be 500 milligrams.

In 2006 the Department of Agriculture said the average phosphate intake of American male and females over two years of age was 1,334mg and the recommended daily allowance was 1,250 for pre-teens and teenagers and 700mg for adults.

The authors said that a low phosphate diet may help prevent cancer based upon these results obtained with a mouse model.

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