In one of the first studies to examine the relationship between diet and brain lesions, researchers observed that elderly people who reported higher calcium and vitamin D intake were much more likely to have greater volumes of brain lesions -- regions of damage that can increase risk of cognitive impairment. "Our finding of a relationship between brain lesions and consumption of both calcium and vitamin D raises the question about a possible down side to high intakes of these nutrients," Dr. Martha E. Payne of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, told Reuters Health. "We are concerned that some of this extra calcium may end up in the blood vessel walls rather than the bone. This may be a particular problem for individuals with renal disease since calcium excretion may be impaired," Payne said. "We cannot conclude that calcium or vitamin D caused the brain lesions that we found," Payne said. "However, we hypothesize that our findings may be due to vascular calcification, whereby calcium is taken up into the blood vessel walls." She reported the study findings at a meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, part of Experimental Biology 2007 in Washington, DC.
Bonnie - it is about time somebody is addressing the excess calcium issue. The reason vitamin D was dragged into the equation is because it enhances calcium absorption. Excess calcium, especially that comes from malabsorbed sources (i.e., milk, calcium carbonate, oyster shell), calcifies in unwanted places in the body such as veins, arteries, kidneys (in the form stones), heart and brain. I have will have more on this issue in the coming months.