Studying the Role
of Phosphorus in
PHOSPHORUS | Imagine not being
able to drink a glass of water whenever
you want or not being able to enjoy a
cherished family recipe. These are some
of the dietary issues people with chronic
kidney disease (CKD) face because of
multiple food restrictions.
One nutrient of concern for these patients
is phosphorus, found virtually everywhere
in our food supply. CKD impairs the
kidneys’ ability to remove excess
phosphorous from the blood, which can
ultimately lead to bone fractures, vascular
calcification and death.
Patients with dietary phosphorus
restrictions struggle to eat enough protein
and often must forgo favorite foods.
These challenges might be reduced by
better understanding what influences how
phosphorous is absorbed from food.
Kathleen Hill Gallant, assistant professor
and director of the didactic program in
dietetics in the Department of Nutrition
Science, studies phosphorus metabolism
in humans and rats, both healthy and
those with CKD, at two sites: Purdue’s
Clinical Research Center and the Indiana
Clinical Research Center at IU Health
University Hospital, Indianapolis.
“There are many missing pieces in our
understanding of phosphorus absorption,”
she says. “I hope our work will lead
to better therapies to prevent disease
progression, comorbidities and death,
while improving quality of life.” | K.M.
KATHLEEN HILL GALLANT