I was doing a little research on brain lesions and found this article. I know a lot of us take high doses of Vit D and I thought everyone should read this article.
High Calcium And Vitamin D Intakes Associated WIth Higher Risk Of Cognitive Impairment In Elderly
ScienceDaily (May 2, 2007) — Elderly men and women who consumed higher levels of calcium and vitamin D are significantly more likely to have greater volumes of brain lesions, regions of damage that can increase risk of cognitive impairment, dementia, depression and stroke.
Dr. Martha Payne and her co-investigators from Duke and the University of North Carolina examined magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans from 232 men and women (79 men, 153 women) between the ages of 60 and 86 (average age 71). All the subjects had at least some brain lesions of varying sizes, including the extremely miniscule ones often seen in even healthy older persons, but those who reported consuming more calcium and vitamin D were markedly more likely to have higher total volume of brain lesions as measured across numerous MRI scans.
Age, hypertension, and other medical conditions - all factors related to the presence of brain lesions - were taken into account during statistical analysis (were controlled for) and were found not to account for the strong relationship between total lesion volume and high intake of calcium and vitamin D. Since the calcium/vitamin D research was part of a longitudinal study of late-life depression, almost half the subjects had been diagnosed with depression. However, the presence or absence of depression also did not appear to influence of relationship between calcium, vitamin D, and brain lesions.
In earlier studies, Dr. Payne's team had found that individuals who consumed more high-fat dairy products had more brain lesions than those who did not follow such a diet but that fat intake in general was not a significant factor. If not the fat, the researchers asked, what was it about a high fat dairy diet that accounts for the positive correlation with brain lesions? This new study points the finger to a prominent component of dairy - namely calcium - and the Vitamin D that is found in many dairy products and vitamin D-fortified foods.
In addition to its well-known function in bone health, calcium is important to the functioning of nerve and muscle cells. But when too much calcium is taken up into blood vessel walls, the calcium becomes incorporated into bone-like deposits that can lead to loss of elasticity and narrowing of the blood vessels. Vitamin D helps regulate calcium retention and activity, which may further enhance this arterial calcification. If blood vessels in the brain are affected, damage could lead to brain lesions.
"At this point," says Dr. Payne, "we do not know if high calcium and vitamin D intake are involved with the causation of brain lesions, but the study provides support to the growing number of researchers who are concerned about the effects of too much calcium, particularly among older adults, given the current emphasis on promoting high intakes of calcium and vitamin D."
Dr. Payne and her colleagues are continuing to investigate the effect and significance of high calcium and vitamin D intakes on brain lesions, including possible causality, in older patients with and without late-life depression. This research was funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health. MRI brain scans of a person with lesions are available to reporters, courtesy of Duke University's Neuropsychiatric Imaging Research Laboratory.
Duke University scientist Dr. Martha Payne reported this finding at Experimental Biology 2007, in Washington, DC. Her presentation, on May 1, is part of the scientific program of the American Society for Nutrition.
What a revoltin' development this is. Research is showing an association between low vitamin D levels and MS, though exactly what this is is unclear. Past research has determined that we need calcium for bone health, especially as we age. And vitamin D and calcium should be taken together anyway, for proper absorption. Now this is saying we might expect brain lesions and thus deficits from D and calcium.
If ever there was a case of damned if we do, damned if we don't, this is it. However, in a few years maybe all of this will be superceded by yet another theory.
You do not have to take calcium with vitamin D. That has proven to be unnecessary. It used to be thought that you could become hypercalcemic (too much calcium in the blood) if you don't take vitamin D with it. And that you need to take calcium when you take vitamin D. That is all not necessarily true.
I have read medical studies in the journal "Nutrition" which totally blow away all of those old thoughts. So Craig and I now take vitamin D3 (he is at 15,000 units and I am at 10,000 units) alone with no calcium. We only take about 600 mg of calcium and not at the same time as the D3.
I have also read some studies which question the value of high calcium intake, and many studies on the danger of drinking milk etc. So I would be more inclined to think that the real culprit in the brain lesions is the calcium. Anything involved with dairy intake is thought by some medical practitioners to be inflammatory. Vitamin D3 is actually a modulator of the immune system and is anti-inflammatory in nature. So I am betting on the calcium to be the problem.
My father in law had memory loss and has improved greatly since taking 2,000 units of D3 a day and going off calcium. So I am a bona fide D3 fan.
Gosh, Elaine, I need to take calcium, about1500 units a day, because I have osteopenia (bone thinning but not bad enough to be osteoporosis). I was on Boniva for several years, but recently switched to Reclast infusions. I've been doing well without significant further bone loss.
This kind of thing runs in my family so I don't want to mess around with it. If this study is true, and of course they're talking about the majority, not everyone, then I guess I'll have to wait and see whether I get dementia from brain lesions or break a hip and die within the year of complications of old age.
Most forum members are too young to have to deal with this reality, but it sneaks up on you anyway, especially if you are a woman. So we all need to keep ourselves informed.
Ess, Craig has severe spine osteoporosis. When he was diagnosed with it in 2006, he had a 40 percent loss of bone mass in his spine. It was never seen in Delaware. Never seen in Philadelphia so the Phila center told him to go to Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. So we went there. They re-ran everything. After a few days, they said they had never seen a 40 percent loss and never thought it could even happen to someone.
So they were no help. All calcium and D levels were normal. In fact, everything was normal except for his neurological problems. So they sent him home and told him to try Forteo. Well, Forteo has a side effect which is increased risk of bone cancer, so he stopped it. And I put him on Strontium, which is a supplement that builds bone density.
Strontium is used in Europe and a pharmaceutical company has a patent on Strontium Ranelate, which is Strontium with an artificial substance linked to it. They can't get a patent on Strontium since it is natural. Anyway, Craig's bone density is increasing on the Strontium....an eleven percent increase in two years. Of course the D3 helps too.
Interestingly, Strontium and calcium can't be taken together, so that's another reason why he doesn't take alot of calcium.
I was just at the GI doc on Wednesday and he put me back on Prevacid for stomach acid - it is a proton pump inhibitor and he wrote orders for me to take calcium w/vitamin D because of the osteoporosis side effect with Prevacid. I had a DEXA scan this summer and my bone density was according to my PCP beyond excellent. I finally have one good thing about my body- strong bones! :-) So this whole discussion makes me wonder if I really want to take a supplement - my brain has enough problems already with my black holes.
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