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Calcium 'causes brain damage'

The Sun, UK

CALCIUM in dairy products may cause brain damage, research has shown.

The mineral -- found in milk -- can narrow blood vessels in the brain, causing dementia in the elderly, scientists believe.

And vitamin D, which helps the body use bone-building calcium, may make it worse.

A study found that people aged 60 to 86 who consumed most calcium and vitamin D had more "lesions" -- damaged tissue -- in their brains.

Subjects' age and blood pressure did not affect test results. Lesions are often found in healthy old people, but too many can increase risk of stroke and dementia.

Scientists said they could be caused by bone-like calcium deposits clogging blood vessels, making it harder for blood to reach the brain.

Study leader Dr Martha Payne, of Duke University, North Carolina, in the US, said: "A growing number of researchers are concerned about the effects of too much calcium, given the emphasis on promoting high intakes."

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