Newly published Calcium studies;
- Bone loss and low calcium intake may fuel the growth of breast cancer in the bone
- Having higher levels of calcium may decrease the amount of damage caused in the brain by a stroke
- Calcium may protect different bones from fracture in younger (forearm) vs. older women (the hip)
Once breast cancer moves to a different site it becomes harder to treat. The most common site for metastasis is the lymph nodes under the arm or collarbone. Other major sites for breast cancer to metastasize to are bone, brain, and liver tissue. Bone is a major site for metastasis and an estimated 70% of women with advanced disease suffer with metastasis to the bone. In this study, female mice lacking an immune system (nude mice) were fed a diet supplying a low amount of calcium or a normal amount for 3 days before implanting human breast cancer in them. A subgroup of 16 animals on each diet was given a human immune system messenger that decreases the breakdown of bone. The mice on the low calcium diet had an increase in hormone activity that breaks down bone and in fact their bones were loosing calcium at a high rate. On the seventeenth day those animals with greater bone mineral loss had a much higher rate of metastasis to the bone with 43% greater bone destruction due to breast cancer metastasis. The low calcium group also had much larger cancerous-tumors (by 24%) and faster cancer growth (by 24%) than animals on sufficient calcium. Increased bone loss due to low calcium intake promotes tumor growth in the bone. The study was performed at the University of Sydney and is published in the October 1st, 2007 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
If you suffer with a stroke, having higher blood levels of calcium reduces the size of damage in the brain by two-thirds compared to stroke sufferers with lower calcium levels according to researchers from the University of Toronto. In checking the blood of 173 consecutive patients admitted because they suffered from an acute ischemic stroke within the last 24 hours it was found that the higher the calcium level the lower the amount of brain tissue damaged and the better the clinical outcome; September 2007 Archives of Neurology.
In a study of 9,403 women born between 1932 and 1941 it was found that a high intake of Calcium protected against forearm fractures early in menopause and offered the best protection against a broken hip later in life;29th annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.