Calcium Supplements Linked to Dementia Risk in Older Women

Many women take calcium supplements for bone health, do you know it may raise the risk of dementia in older women?

Yes, this is true, and particulary true if a woman has already sustained an event causing poor blood flow to the brain, such as from a stroke.

According to the study, dementia risk was seven times higher in female stroke survivors who took calcium supplements, compared to women with a history of stroke who didn’t use the supplements. Also, the risk of dementia was three times higher in women with white matter brain lesions who took calcium supplements, compared to women with white matter lesions who didn’t take the supplements. Lesions in white matter tissue are evidence of a mini-stroke or some other problem impeding blood flow within the brain.

As the lead researcher from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden said, women with cerebrovascular disease and osteoporosis should discuss with their clinicians before taking calcium supplement.

Although the study can’t prove cause-and-effect, there’re speculations. Calcium plays a crucial role in cell death, and high levels of calcium in the blood might prompt the early death of neurons. Excess calcium also might somehow affect the blood vessels within the brain.

Researchers need further study into this topic, and up to now, this conclusion is at a to-be-confirmed status.

It’s important to know that the finding applies only to calcium supplements, and it’s safe and even protective to get calcium from food.

Foods rich in calcium are yogurt, cheese, milk, sardines, dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnips, and collard greens, soybeans. For older women who had survived stroke or mini-stroke, low fat yogurt, sardines, dark leafy greens and soybeans are the best.

 

 

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.