It keeps your bones healthy... your muscles, nerves, and blood vessels humming along… and your heart beating.
I'm talking about calcium.
This essential mineral is a cornerstone of good health -- but there are places you don't want to have too much calcium.
You may already know about calcium deposits in your arteries… but did you know that it can also happen in your BRAIN?
And an excess of calcium in your delicate brain cells can up your risk of Parkinson's and even Alzheimer's disease .
Fortunately, according to a new study, you can protect your gray matter from calcium buildup by cutting back on two things: sugar and cigarettes.
According to Dutch researchers, brain scans showed that diabetics and smokers were 50 percent more likely to have calcium buildup in their brains than non-diabetics and non-smokers.
Even worse, that buildup occurred specifically in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that's typically damaged in those with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia!
Now, when the researchers gave the participants cognitive tests, they didn't find any evidence that these calcium deposits had impacted the participants' cognitive function.
But the hippocampus has many layers, so it's possible that the calcification hadn't yet reached the layers involved in short- and long-term memory. In fact, the study found that each added year of age was associated with a 5 percent greater risk of these calcium deposits -- so it could be that smoking and diabetes are like ticking time bombs.
Plus, that's not all you have to worry about with smoking and diabetes, which also both raise your risk of cardiovascular disease... kidney disease... and even leg circulation issues that result in amputation .
So, if you want to protect your health -- from your gray matter all the way down to your toes -- snuff out those cigarettes and cut out the sugar.
1. To kick the smoking habit, your best bet is to go "cold turkey" and talk to a holistic doc who can recommend natural methods (like acupuncture) to curb those cravings.
2. Switching to the Paleo (a.k.a. "caveman") diet has been proven to put diabetes in reverse. And the fresh meats, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, fruits, and vegetables you'll be eating are so satisfying that your sugar cravings may even disappear!
Finally, don’t take this to mean that you shouldn’t take calcium supplements – because you still need calcium, you just need it in the right places in your body and in the right way. You can optimize how calcium can work for you by getting enough of two essential vitamins.
Vitamin D3 helps your body absorb calcium, and vitamin K2 helps sweep excess calcium out of arteries and tissues where you don’t need it and sends it off to where you DO need it: your bones.