Another reason to skip the sodas……..

Phosphate consumption may accelerate signs of aging

30 April 2010

FASEB J 2010; Advance online publication

MedWire News: High phosphate levels act to accelerate signs of aging such as skin atrophication, show results from a study in mice.

The researchers believe this finding could be important as phosphates are routinely added to processed foods and soft drinks.

“Soda is the caffeine delivery vehicle of choice for millions of people worldwide, but comes with phosphorous as a passenger,” said Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal and Professor at New York University School of Medicine, USA. “This research suggests that our phosphorous balance influences the aging process, so don’t tip it.”

Mohammed Razzaque (Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) and Mutsuko Ohnishi (Nagasaki University, Japan) investigated the affects of phosphates on aging in three groups of genetically modified mice.

The first group lacked the klotho gene, causing them to have a toxically high level of phosphate in their bodies. The second group lacked both the klotho and NaPi2a genes, which led to the mice having substantially reduced phosphate levels. Finally, the third group was genetically the same as the second group but was fed a high-phosphate diet.

The klotho mice only lived for 8 to 15 weeks and displayed many signs of premature aging, including atrophy of the skin, skeletal muscle wasting, emphysema, and osteopenia.

The low phosphate levels in the klotho, NaPi2a mice seemed to result in significantly reduced signs of premature aging compared with klotho mice. These mice had normal reproductive ability and body weight, and had reduced atrophication of skin and other organs, as well as suppressed ectopic calcifications.

Interestingly, when the third group of klotho, NaPi2a mice was fed a high phosphate diet, signs of premature aging re-appeared, suggesting that phosphate toxicity is the main cause of the premature aging symptoms seen in klotho mice.

“The results of our dietary and genetic manipulation studies provide in vivo evidence for phosphate toxicity accelerating the aging process and suggest a novel role for phosphate in mammalian aging,” conclude the authors in The FASEB Journal.

They add: “The mechanism by which phosphate toxicity accelerates the aging process requires further study.

“It is likely that high phosphate exerts its cytotoxic effects to compromise the physiological functions of various organ systems.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010