Calcium is one of the overarching most popular natural supplements around. There is no doubting its importance, particularly for women of postmenopausal age.
This study takes a different route, one that warns against having too high calcium — in particular, what it does to the brain.
Older adults worried about declining mental function may want to have their calcium levels checked every so often.
That’s because a team of Dutch researchers have just found that high levels of blood calcium — rather than calcium in the bone — are linked to a faster decline in cognitive ability.
Effects Of Calcium On Brain
In other words, high blood calcium is a signal that your mind might be weakening more quickly. Signs that your brain function may not be what it used to be include generally what one would assume:
- A slipping memory
- Difficulty concentrating
- Inability to pay attention as well
- Inability to learn new things easily
- Simple thinking becoming more challenging
- and use of language is not as sharp anymore.
What Study Says About Link Between Calcium And Brain
Previous studies have illustrated that small rises in calcium within nerve and brain cells can actually kill those cells. While it’s known that calcium can slip from the blood into the brain, the link between the mineral and one’s mental ability has never been clear.
High blood calcium levels can be caused by several diseases, including cancer, kidney failure, and thyroid problems — and they could be a factor in the link.
But the researchers also suggest that each person has a “set point” and that, once the blood calcium levels reach it, cognitive decline can ensue. To try to figure it out, they studied 8,000 adults over the age of 75 for more than a decade. This included 600 people followed from age 85 to 90.
Amongst everyone, the higher the blood calcium, the worse the cognitive function. This notably included memory. Among those aged 75, higher blood calcium levels made people more likely to have faster mental decline. The link was quite strong and needs to be studied further (as is usually the case).
The question of the future:how are calcium levels inside and outside nerve cells hurting the mind?
The answer for today: get those levels checked out a few times each year as part of a regular doctor’s visit. And keep exercising your mind and body to stave off age-related cognitive decline as long as possible.