Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
You’ve got questions…
We’ve got answers!
Today, we are going to address something we get a lot of reader mail about — the healthiest (and only) way to take calcium.
Let’s get started…
I’ve been taking calcium for years because I want to keep healthy bones. But recently, a member of my walking group said she read that taking calcium can cause dementia in some women. Do you know if this is true? If so, is there a way to take calcium without risking dementia?
Thanks for the great question, Bev.
Believe it or not, your friend is correct. But that doesn’t mean you need to completely stop taking calcium.
You just need to change how you’re taking it. Let me explain…
A recent study shows that women who suffer from cerebrovascular disease are up to seven times more likely to suffer from dementia when taking a calcium supplement.
Cerebrovascular disease occurs when blood vessels in the brain become blocked by fat or cholesterol. This loss of blood flow can damage the brain and lead to dangerous conditions like dementia or stroke.
For the study, researchers followed a group of dementia-free women ages 70–92 for a five-year period. Over the course of the study, the researchers monitored their use of calcium supplements and tracked whether they were diagnosed with dementia.
That’s how scientists found dementia risk increased by about sevenfold in women with cerebrovascular disease when taking calcium supplements.
Now, I know this may be a lot different from everything you’ve heard about calcium before. Millions of women just like you are taking calcium every day to protect their bones.
But when calcium enters your body, it needs helpers to get to your bones and not your arteries, where it can create potentially dangerous blockages that can affect everything from your heart to your brain.
These helpers are vitamins D3 and K2. Vitamin K2 helps direct calcium into your bones and away from your arteries, and vitamin D3 helps your bones absorb it.
This means taking this powerful nutrient combo can help keep your arteries clear and your bones strong. If you’re taking calcium — and want to continue — it’s critical to add vitamins D3 and K2 to the mix.
Do you have supplement questions? Write me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing editor, Living Well Daily