Recently, scientists from the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon (Bassil. 2016), have observed that "P supplementation recovers the blunted diet-induced thermogenesis in overweight and obese subjects and enhances their postprandial satiety" (Bassil. 2016).
Yes, that's right: This means that phosphorus aka "P" supplementation will address two of the main reasons for weight regain aka the YoYo-effect - a diet- / weight-loss-induced reduction in diet-induced thermogenesis and a decrease of the satiety effects of the foods you consume.
Since diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) is believed to be largely related to ATP production, which is dependent on phosphorus (P) availability, Bassil and Omar speculated that supplementing extra phosphorus to lean and overweight/obese healthy subjects should have beneficial effects on their diet-induced thermogenesis. Accordingly, they measured the latter with or without P in 10 lean and 13 overweight/obese adults in a double-blind randomized cross-over pilot study with a one week washout period that was meant to exclude any possible interference of the previous trial.
|Correlation between daily dietary P intake and subjects' BMI (Bassil. 2016).|
Speaking of explanations... a 2006 study by Mataix, et al. shows that Spaniards who consume more energy than they'd need have an increased risk of suboptimal phosphate intakes. The same goes for people with low education (Mataix. 2006). Both could point to phosphate intakes as a correlate not a cause of reduced obesity risks. Furthermore, we must not forget that US citizens with the highest phosphorus intakes happen to have an increased risk of mortality (Chang. 2014). This association with mortality risk, however, well be unrelated to phosphorus and a simple result of the high amounts of phosphates you will also find in processed foods. In this case, phosphorus would rather be a marker of increased junk food intake, which in turn could be the actual reason for an increase in mortality risk - an increased risk that may, however, eventually be a result of a messed up balance between phosphorus, calcium and magnesium.
|Figure 2: Subjective appetite scores of lean (gray) and obese (black) subjects, 3 h after drinking 75 g glucose solution with phosphorus (solid bars) or placebo (dashed bars) supplementation (Bassil. 2016).|
- Overweight/obese subjects had a blunted DIT with placebo.
- P supplementation induced a 23% increase in their DIT area under the curve (p < 0.05).
- The increase in DIT was associated with an increase in carbohydrate oxidation.
- All subjects, obese or lean had lower appetite following P supplementation.
- The decrease was expressed as a significantly (p = 0.02) lower desire to eat a meal (4.0 ± 0.7 cm) compared with placebo (5.8 ± 0.9 cm).
- Bassil, Maya S., and Omar A. Obeid. "Phosphorus Supplementation Recovers the Blunted Diet-Induced Thermogenesis of Overweight and Obese Adults: A Pilot Study." Nutrients 8.12 (2016): 801.
- Chang, Alex R., et al. "High dietary phosphorus intake is associated with all-cause mortality: results from NHANES III." The American journal of clinical nutrition 99.2 (2014): 320-327.
- Mataix, José, et al. "Factors influencing the intake and plasma levels of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in southern Spain." European journal of nutrition 45.6 (2006): 349-354.