Is High Calcium and Vitamin D Intake Harmful?


Alisa Fleming, Dairy Free Made Easy – As to be expected on a dairy-free website, calcium is a common topic.  Consumers are led to believe that milk is the only “good” source of calcium, when in fact there are many common foods that fit the bill.  Not to mention, how much calcium should we really be getting?  A recent study out of Duke University actually suggests that higher calcium intakes could in fact lead to more brain lesions.

Dr. Martha Payne reported her findings at Experimental Biology 2007, in Washington, DC.  Along with her team, she examined the MRI scans of 232 men and women, with an average age of 71.  Though all subjects had some brain lesions, as can often be seen in older healthy individuals, those who reported consuming higher levels of calcium and vitamin D were much more likely to have a higher total volume of brain lesions.  New research shows that larger brain lesions can lead to cognitive impairment, depression or even stroke.

Unfortunately, the news reports on this study do not specify how much is too much.  Admittedly, these are still preliminary studies, and we should expect to hear more as the research continues.

To read the full story, head to the Washington Post

Peruse our online calcium department (under Health Info) for more information on sources of calcium, calcium requirements, calcium supplements, and more

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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