Calcium and Its Possible Effects On Memory

We’ve all heard about the effects of calcium. It’s the reason why you were told to drink milk when you were a child; since it allows your bones to become tougher and also lets you grow stronger. However, calcium has more than just physical benefits, it can also help the mind by increasing your learning capability as well as your long-term memory. Unfortunately, it wasn’t till recently that research on the effects that calcium has on memory was done in more detail.

Last year, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) published a new study in the journal, Cell Reports. The study aimed to give some insight into the beneficial effects that calcium can bring to the mitochondria. The mitochondria is characterised as the powerhouse within cells and are important in the brain’s functions when it comes to memory and learning.

They started their research by experimenting on fruit flies by putting them in an area where they could block their calcium intake through a Mitochondria Calcium Uniporter (MCU). The MCU is a machine characterised by its ability to move calcium ions from cells into the mitochondria.

They were able to use the MCU on the fruit flies and noticed that their memory became severely impaired when calcium was removed from the mitochondria. However, they noted that their learning capacity remained relatively the same as it was before. What this means is that even with low calcium intake the flies were able to learn, even if they couldn’t keep what their experiences for too long.

Through these studies, they were able to establish that mitochondrial calcium intake is an important part of the development of living beings. Since they can help improve a person’s memories, they believe that the more calcium that the mitochondria is able to take in, the better the memory will be once the person has matured.

Of course, all of this is still in need of more testing. At the moment there isn’t any confirmation on how this can affect human memories, and even the effects that they might have in the mitochondria of flies is still up in the air.

 

However, if these could be proven for humans as well then it would be quite a breakthrough in regards to explaining how human memory works, especially if it came to helping people who suffer from memory problems.

But what do you think? Do you think that learning more about calcium’s influence on the brain could potentially improve human’s understanding of memory? They’re all interesting topics that we should all learn more about.

Stay tuned for more information on research like this and the effects they could have on physical and mental health, right here at The Wellness Insider.


Photo Credits: Quick Base, Playbuzz, Muscular CA

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