A recent study has reportedly linked high phosphorus consumption to increased all-cause mortality in a healthy adult population, raising concerns about the use of inorganic phosphorus additives in processed food. Alex Chang, et al., "High dietary phosphorus intake is associated with all-cause mortality: results from NHANES-III," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2013. Relying on 24-hour dietary recall surveys from 9,686 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey – III, researchers noted an association between high phosphorus intake and all-cause mortality for individuals who consumed more than 1,400 milligrams of phosphorus per day.
"The relation between increasing absolute phosphorus intake and mortality appeared flat until a threshold of ~1400 mg/d, which is an amount of phosphorus consumption that is twice the adult US RDA [recommended daily allowance]," reported the study’s authors. Although they acknowledged that their results did not distinguish between organic and inorganic sources of phosphorus, they urged further study to determine whether the identified association was causal: "Because of the prevalence of high phosphorus intake in healthy adults and the widespread use of inorganic phosphorus additives in processed food, our findings may have far-reaching public health implications."