If you've been reading my eTips for a while, you know that I was diagnosed with Parkinson's over a dozen years ago.
Fortunately, I've been able to keep the disease from progressing with diet, exercise, and DETOX -- because we know that toxins from pesticides and other environmental sources are a major trigger of Parkinson's disease.
And now, surprising new research suggests that a nutrient we usually consider to be a cornerstone of good health may become toxic if too much of it winds up in your brain.
I'm talking about CALCIUM!
Now, we don't know exactly what gets the ball rolling on Parkinson's, but we do know that the disease is linked to an abnormal buildup of a protein called "alpha-synuclein" inside nerve cells in your brain.
In the study, University of Cambridge researchers looked through a super-strong microscope at the impossibly tiny sacs (a.k.a. "vesicles") at the ends of those nerve cells.
And they saw that when levels of calcium increased inside the cells, alpha-synuclein started to build up.
It stuck to the vesicles... and made the vesicles stick to one another... setting the stage for those abnormal Parkinson's deposits.
Now, your brain needs SOME calcium in order to function properly, because it plays a vital role in how nerve cells communicate with one another. And as you know full well, the mineral is also essential for strong bones and heart health.
But these results suggest that there can be too much of a good thing -- and many factors can send your calcium levels dangerously high.
Consuming a lot of low-fat dairy products is one potential culprit. You see, calcium isn't found in the fatty portion of the milk, so when the fat is removed, the remaining milk has concentrated levels of calcium.
And previous studies have shown that people who eat three or more servings of low-fat dairy products each day are nearly 35 percent more likely to develop Parkinson's than those who don't even eat one!
To hit the sweet spot with your calcium intake, choose full-fat dairy over low-fat and/or look to natural sources like broccoli, leafy greens, almonds, and sardines.
Another common culprit in calcium overload is an overactive thyroid, so you want to get your thyroid hormones checked every year.
Being a chronic couch potato can cause your bones to release calcium into your blood -- as can taking certain blood pressure meds and taking too much vitamin D without pairing it with enough magnesium.
Aim to get some exercise at least twice weekly... and talk to a doc who is well-versed in integrative medicine about the right dosages of calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium supplements for you.