Misplaced Calcium on the Brain

Why are so many people struggling with anxiety and depression these days – more than ever before? Among young adults in particular there seems to be an epidemic. Clearly, something’s changed in the last decade! A recent study by Dr. Martin Pall suggests that EMFs (electromagnetic fields) are causing neuropsychiatric effects, producing these symptoms and others. And the increase in incidence coincides with the rise of smartphones, smart meters, and home WIFI – all potent household sources of EMFs.

I stumbled on the Pall study as I waited – smartphone in hand – to meet a young friend in a café. I couldn’t wait to tell her about it; I know that anxiety stalks her, despite careful attention to her diet and nutrients. I’ve long puzzled over the missing piece in her health story. When I blurted out the study results, she quickly made the connection with her initial experience of anxiety around nine years ago, when she was in her mid teens, and its meteoric increase over recent years after she got her first smartphone with a data plan. Today, her ever-present smartphone supplies her music, media, communication link, study assistant, entertainment, alarm clock, and boredom buster. It’s what she turns to for support during anxiety assaults. (Seeing the battery level drop even triggers anxiety!) Like many, she sleeps with it beside her in bed, and she lives, studies, and works bombarded by WIFI.

Martin Pall’s study explains the mechanism by which EMFs produce histological and functional changes in our central and peripheral nervous systems. And here’s the link to our bones: EMFs act on the voltage sensors of the brain’s voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs), which are in charge of releasing neurotransmitters and neuroendocrine hormones. Intracellular calcium increases, causing widespread disruption of chemical balance, leading to faulty signals.

We don’t want excessive intracellular calcium in our brains! We want our calcium to settle decisively in our bones. And of course we all want to enjoy good mental health. Because of our genetic uniqueness, EMFs affect some of us more acutely than others, which explains why we don’t all experience depression or anxiety at the same level of exposure. Yet, it’s quite likely that there are still brain effects at the cellular level for the rest of us, and quite possibly an impact on our bones.

So what’s to be done to restore some balance? It’s too late to put the WIFI genie back in the bottle. But here are some steps we can all take:

  • Test your nutrient status. The very nutrients that affect calcium utilization are key in managing EMF sensitivity. These are vitamin D, magnesium, boron, and vitamin K2. All are vital for bone health. If you need more than your diet can supply, take some as supplements.
  • Put some distance between yourself and your smartphone. It’s become a vital communication link, but it doesn’t have to be on your body at all times. Leave it a few feet away, rather than in your pocket, while you’re not actively using it. Find a charging spot away from your bedroom at night.
  • Look to old ways for new habits. Remember when we used to read books? Waken to alarm clocks? Watch movies on TV? Speak face-to-face?
  • Turn off your household WIFI at night. Even small steps can reduce your exposure.
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4 thoughts on “Misplaced Calcium on the Brain

  1. Hi Jane, this was interesting. What about cell phone transmission? If i turn off the wifi but leave the phone enabled, is that the same problem?

    • Hi Mary, that’s a good question. Yes, cell phones also emit EMFs, with or without WIFI, and so do cordless phones. The fact is we can’t eliminate all sources, because even if we shut down all our own devices we’d still be affected by those of our neighbours. Apart from moving to an isolated wilderness location totally off grid, the best most of us can do is take a hard look at our personal situation and see how we can cut down our exposure.

  2. Can you tell me what you think about Bone-Up by Jarrow, a calcium supplement that uses Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite and MK-7, as well as D3 , magnesium,etc.

    • Nancy, Bone-Up by Jarrow sounds like a fairly good product. The oxide form of magnesium is poorly absorbed, though. For maximum benefit, I would recommend a different form, such as citrate, glycinate, or bisglycinate.

      I question whether 1000mg of calcium is too much to supplement for someone eating a varied diet. The higher road is always to get as much as possible of our nutrients from our food, and overloading calcium can cause other problems, while not benefitting our bones.

      Furthermore, most of us need either more zinc or more copper at any given time, but not usually both.

      Since our needs are highly individual, my personal preference is to customize what I take with individual nutrients, rather than a “complete” supplement. As blended supplements go, though, this sounds like a good starting point.

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