Purpose of reviewThe purpose of this study is to review the current literature related to the role of inorganic phosphate in the pathogenesis of hypertension.Recent findingsAn increasing number of publications have revealed a detrimental role of inorganic phosphate, which is commonly used as a flavor enhancer or preservative in the processed food, in promoting hypertension in otherwise healthy individuals. Animal experimental data indicate that dietary phosphate excess engages multiple mechanisms that promote hypertension, including overactivation of the sympathetic nervous system, increased vascular stiffness, impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation, as well as increased renal sodium absorption or renal injury. These effects may be explained by direct effects of high extracellular phosphate levels or increase in phosphaturic hormones such as fibroblast growth factor 23, or downregulation of klotho, a transmembrane protein expressed in multiple organs which possess antiaging property.SummaryDietary phosphate, particularly inorganic phosphate, is an emerging risk factor for hypertension which is ubiquitous in the western diet. Large randomized clinical trials are needed to determine if lowering dietary phosphate content constitutes an effective nonpharmacologic intervention for prevention and treatment of hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in nephrology and hypertension
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • dietary phosphate
  • hypertension
  • sympathetic nervous system
  • western diet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Nephrology


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