Phosphorus in Milk

By Chelsea Kent and Roxanne Stone


Why does the body need phosphorus?

Phosphorus is essential for various cellular processes, including ATP synthesis, DNA and RNA synthesis, cellular signaling, membrane structure and function, acting as a buffer system, and activating enzymes. Notably, phosphorus deficiency would lead to death much more quickly than elevated phosphorus.


Phosphorus can become elevated in the body due to hormonal imbalances or endocrine disorders, which might largely result from castration. These conditions can affect cellular metabolism and result in renal dysfunction. To mitigate such dysfunctions of phosphorus metabolism, support for proper hormone balance using adaptogenic herbs and laboratory monitoring of hormone levels may be the most effective approach.


Thus, limiting total phosphorus intake may be less beneficial and possibly damaging to cellular health compared to ensuring proper mineral ratios and balancing hormones.


Milk Diet As a Remedy For Chronic Disease by Charles Sanford Porter states, “I have seen many very serious cases of albuminuria (protein or albumin in urine as a result of kidney disease) and Bright’s Disease (chronic nephritis – kidney disease) take the milk cure, during the last thirty-two years, and I have never heard of any of them having any trouble from the disease afterward. I believe that diseased kidneys are restored to almost perfect condition by the milk diet. Floating, or movable kidneys, are easily restored to their normal condition, in the milk cure, and they stay fixed, because the normal support of kidney fat is built up around them and holds them in place.” 


Ratios are more important than individual values:

Nutrients work symbiotically in the body. Like other minerals, phosphorus relies on a set of cofactors and co-nutrients for the body to use them correctly. These include calcium, zinc, iron, vitamins D, K, B6, C, aspartate, serine, kinase, phosphatase, parathyroid hormone, and calcitonin. Several of these nutrients are not found in kibble or canned foods, may be in forms the body can’t utilize, and may not be readily available in spayed or neutered pets. Because raw milk contains balanced ratios of phosphorus and its co-nutrients, it is a safer form of phosphorus at any level than synthetic isolate phosphorus at low levels.


Phosphorus metabolizing enzymes are more important than total phosphorus intake:

Specific enzymes are necessary for the breakdown and metabolism of phosphorus in milk. Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP), lactoperoxidase, and beta-lactoglobulin are degraded by pasteurization. When these enzymes are absent or insufficient, phosphorus cannot break down and may instead be stored in tissues, potentially causing damage. Additionally, pasteurization can affect the heat stability of phosphorus-containing compounds and result in the loss of nutrients (co-nutrients and enzymes) during processing. These changes can negatively impact phosphorus intake and metabolism in the body. In summary, pasteurization-induced damage can cause phosphorus to have a detrimental effect on health, whereas these changes do not occur in raw milk products. When phosphorus metabolism is impaired, the body can suffer from calcium/phosphorus imbalance, impaired bone mineralization, altered magnesium and Vitamin D metabolism, altered acid/base balance, and possibly poor digestion or metabolic acidosis, as well as impaired absorption of iron, zinc, and copper.


The Untold Story of Milk, revised and updated – The history, politics and science of nature’s perfect food: raw milk from pasture-fed cows by Ron Schmid, ND states, “Pasteurized milk contains similar levels of minerals as raw milk, but these minerals are not as well absorbed after milk has been heat treated. We saw how pasteurization inhibits proper calcium and iron simulation – and it is a good working hypothesis that pasteurization inhibits the assimilation of other minerals as well.” “Pasteurized milk gradually induces infantile scurvy… Hess wrong of the situation in Berlin, ‘A large dairy in that city established a pasteurizing plant in which all milk was raised to a temperature of about 60 degrees C. After an interval of some months, infantile scurvy was reported from various sources throughout the city.’ Thus from the earliest days of pasteurization, scientists demonstrated that heat treatment had a profound effect on the health-giving properties of milk.”

A publication in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, 1925, stated, “The author’s conclusion was unequivocal: “There is a loss in the soluble calcium and phosphorus contents of the milk due to heat and the amount of the loss depends on the temperature to which the milk as been heated.” Other studies showed that pasteurization caused the loss of significant percentages of many of the B vitamins and nearly all of the enzymes in milk.” 


How much phosphorus is in milk and how concerned you should be about it?

Raw Milk has one of the lowest concentrations of total phosphorus of ingredients that are commonly fed to dogs and cats. Keep in mind that vegan diets are scientifically proven to contain the highest heavy metal levels and laboratory-validated to contain the highest glyphosate levels. 



– Cheese (550mg)

– Sardines (490mg)

– Peanut Butter (450mg)

– Beef liver (430mg)

– Duck liver (400mg)

– Green-Lipped Mussel (350mg)

– Chicken liver (330mg)



– Bone Marrow (300mg)

– Turkey, Rabbit, Tuna, Herring (280mg)

– Cod (250mg)

– Bison, Duck, Chicken Heart (240mg)

– Elk, Pork, Duck heart (220mg)

– Beef Heart, Bully Sticks (210mg)

– Eggs (200mg)



– Beef, Chicken (190mg)

– Lamb, Cow Ears (180mg)

– Greek Yogurt (110mg)



– Raw Milk, Bone Broth (100mg)

– Spinach (50mg)

– Broccoli (40mg)


In conclusion, raw milk is less likely to cause disruptions in phosphorus, calcium, and iron absorption and utilization compared to pasteurized milk, leading to better overall nutrient uptake and metabolic balance in consumers.






–        Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Gatto GJ Jr, et al. Biochemistry. 8th edition. New York: W H Freeman; 2015. Section 15.1, ATP Is the Universal Currency of Free Energy.


–        Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th edition. New York: W H Freeman; 2000. Section 6.1, The Replication Fork; Section 7.1, DNA; Section 7.6, RNA.


–        Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition.

 New York: Garland Science; 2002. Section 15.1, Introduction: the Concept of Signal Transduction; Section 15.2, General Principles of Signal Transduction Pathways.


–        Voet D, Voet JG, Pratt CW. Fundamentals of Biochemistry: Life at the Molecular Level. 5th edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons; 2016. Section 11.1, Structure of Membrane Lipids.


–        Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Gatto GJ Jr, et al. Biochemistry. 8th edition. New York: W H Freeman; 2015. Section 2.2, Buffer Solutions and the Henderson-Hasselbalch Equation.


–        Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition. New York: Garland Science; 2002. Section 3.3, Control of Protein Function by Posttranslational Modification: Phosphorylation.

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