Coral Calcium Supplement - Calcium Absorption Comes With Risks

By Doris Temple

Perhaps you have considered a coral calcium supplement as a possible source of calcium to supplement your diet. Many products are available touting the benefits of "marine" grade coral calcium. So I wanted to check into this possible valuable supplement.

I have used a calcium magnesium supplement, Cal Mag for short, for over 25 years. Sometimes I have purchased the ingredients and mixed it myself. Other times I have used a prepared formula.

Even so, I wanted to evaluate the available data on coral calcium, being as unbiased as possible.

My first thought upon hearing of coral calcium supplements went something like this, "But, aren't coral reefs living?"

Well, yes, they are. They are also endangered. So breaking off pieces of the living organism is not permitted. Instead the coral is mined from "fossilized" coral beds.

This means that the source is no longer living. But the mining does disrupt the ecosystem of the coral reefs where many other marine organisms live.

I found another issue with coral calcium. As with the expression, "You are what you eat," so is the coral reef subject to the pollutants and toxins in its environment.

Coral calcium needs to be processed and purified to remove toxins. The coral reefs in polluted waters have absorbed lead and mercury. Both of these toxins adversely effect the human nervous system. Without purification of the highest standards, this supplement poses a serious health risk. High calcium absorption should come without undue risks to your health.

This means that you need to be diligent in investigating both the source of the coral calcium and you also need to find out about the purification. What toxins, pollutants and contaminants are being tested for and removed. Are they above or below industry standards?

But what about the trace minerals available from coral calcium supplements?

I found one product claiming to have 75 trace minerals. This sounds like it may be good. Let me ask you though, "How can purification of toxins be done and the trace minerals be left in tact?" Maybe it can, but to me, it just doesn't add up.

Then there are two other points about trace minerals:

  1. All the trace minerals needed and their dosages to maintain optimal health, are still not full researched. A leader in this micro-nutrient research is the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.
  2. Trace minerals obtained from diet are in the correct proportion and come with other nutrients that your body needs to use them. A healthy diet has been the source of trace nutrients centuries before we ever discovered them.

Now, I also came across claims that coral calcium benefits include treatment of different diseases. Such claims would require FDA evaluation and approval. Without verifying evidence of such approval, avoid any manufacturer claiming the benefits of their coral calcium in treatment of disease.

Any physician, dietician or nutritionist will tell you that long-term nutrient deficiencies will lead to disease. Any claims that a particular nutrient can cure or prevent disease is walking on thin ice. That is because no single nutrient acts independently. Each nutrient requires a "buddy" to work effectively and efficiently.

Supplementing only one nutrient, you are at risk of creating artificial deficiencies. This is when one nutrient is consumed in higher amounts than it's buddy or buddies. The result is that a deficiency of the buddy nutrient begins to appear.

For example, by taking calcium and B, you can create a vitamin C deficiency. It is just that the available C is not enough to meet the increased need when the other two have been supplemented.

My conclusion is that coral calcium supplement is not for me. I have no desire to contribute to the disruption or erosion of an ecosystem to obtain a nutrient I can adequately get elsewhere.

Doris Temple
Article by Doris Temple
Doris Temple created to fill the need for unbiased information. The Website provides information about organic food, products and healthy nutrition. Sign up for a free monthly email newsletter (ezine) and receive a free Going Organic Special Report:

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