Health A-Z Archives: Coral Calcium

coral in the aquarium

Coral calcium is basically a supplement (under many different brands) that is being marketed by some as the miracle cure for all and every disease.

The Quest for Alkalinity

The idea being that as calcium is a high alkaline mineral it helps to regulate the pH of the body. It is a well-known fact that your blood pH is ideal at a level of between 7.35 – 7.45. At that level your health will be ideal, cancer cells for example cannot multiply. The only natural way to do this is to follow a diet that contains at least 75-80% alkaline forming foods, in the form of mainly fresh fruit and vegetables. This diet will also supply you with all the calcium, vitamins, minerals and water soluble fibre you need for peak health (My book, The Natural Way covers this issue in greater detail)

There Are No Shortcuts to Health

From time to time people will look for short cuts, new gimmicks and a lucrative business opportunity to correct the body pH and in my opinion coral calcium is one of these. Years ago taking bicarbonate of soda was the flavour of the day. In both instances the diet and lifestyle is ignored and health cannot be maintained in the long term by taking something without the right natural diet and exercise.

I am also extremely concerned about the environmental effect of harvesting coral. Coral takes years to recover and we have no way of measuring the long term environmental effect, especially as one of the producers claims that in the next few years consumption will go from 1 million to 20 million people per year in the US alone.

I also fail to see how the calcium can be remotely usable, as it is also well known that only plant calcium is 100% usable due to the process of photosynthesis, which takes place in the presence of chlorophyll, in sunlight. Coral has no green leaves so it is unable to photosynthesis anything.

I am actually shocked at the misleading information and spurious claims made by these companies. I have checked them all out and found that they cannot back up any of their claims with sound research.

Whenever a product is only available in one country of from some strange part of the world, I ask question. Health should be available to all, rich and poor. I recommend a healthy diet following The Natural Way guidelines and drinking Barleylife, as the calcium is truly available 100%. And yes even poor people have access to it, all they have to do is grow the leaves organically and where in the world, although Barleylife is grown in New Zealand and Canada.

2 Main types of Ocean Calcium

There is a huge debate among the coral calcium peddlers about which of the two types are best. The most advertised one is sucked of the floor of the ocean and called marine coral the other is harvested about the ocean.

“Coral reefs are massive structures made of limestone that is deposited by living things. Although thousands of species inhabit coral reefs, only a fraction produce the limestone that builds the reef. The most important reef-building organisms are corals.

Coral reefs support over twenty-five percent of all known marine species. As one of the most complex ecosystems on the planet, coral reefs are home to over 4,000 different species of fish, 700 species of coral and thousands of other plants and animals.

A good way to imagine a coral reef is to think of it as a bustling city or community, with the buildings made of coral, and thousands of inhabitants coming and going, carrying out their business. In this sense, a coral reef is like a metropolis under the sea.

Although coral is often mistaken for a rock or a plant, it is actually composed of tiny, fragile animals called coral polyps. When we say “coral” we are actually referring to these animals and the skeletons they leave behind after they die. Most established coral reefs are between 5,000 and 10,000 years old.”

“Marine Coral is basically sand which contains a mixture of coral, seashells, silica, rock, and sea life. It is exhumed from the ocean bottom via a 250′ industrial dredging ship lowering a large pipe to the bottom of the ocean and vacuuming. We photographed this procedure on a recent trip to Okinawa. This process brings hundreds of tons of sand, coral, shells, marine flora and fauna to the ship deck. There is no way of separating sand from coral hence marine coral is a mixture which would be more accurately named “coral sand”. It is not a matter of carefully harvesting bits of coral as they fall from the reef due to currents and fish munching on it, as is portrayed on some web sites.

Most of the raw material dredged from the ocean bottom is used for industrial purposes such as cinder blocks and road building materials, but a small portion is sold to a company called Marine Bio for human use and called “marine coral calcium”. We have collected samples of the raw “marine coral” which appears identical to brownish beach sand with bits of shells and coral. It only gains its white appearance after heat treating and adding magnesium carbonate.

Now that we have posted this information, Mr. Barefoot has changed his story and suddenly his Marine coral promoters are saying the coral is being harvested 4 miles from the reef.

This change of story begs the question what else are they not being factual about. And if their coral is harvested miles away from the reef how can they have a pure coral product? We are asked to believe that only bits of pure coral is carried by currents for 4 miles where it is deposited with no sand, shells, rocks and impurities. Really? The delicate ocean bottom ecology is still being dredged and destroyed unnecessarily.

Coral: “Fountain of Youth” or “Scam”

Coral is neither a fountain of youth, nor a scam…No clinical trials of any significance have been done, so there is no medical evidence one way or the other.

Dr Robert Barefoot?

Mr. Barefoot, often confused as a Doctor, is not an MD or other type of medical practitioner. He is a chemist who has specialized in the study of calcium, an author and a dynamic lecturer. Like other excellent promoters, Mr. Barefoot has been known to oversimplify certain issues and overstate certain benefits of the type of coral he gets paid to promote, in our opinion. We think his overstatements may ultimately bring criticism to an excellent health supplement. It should be noted that there are other less-visible experts on coral calcium that offer balancing perspectives.

If any company owned the exclusive rights to Coral Calcium there would not be so many competing companies creating such confusion now would there? Coral Calcium was first introduced to America about 9 years ago through a Multi-level Marketing company selling it in tea bag form. Later the capsules became more popular as the entire mineral content could be swallowed. Over time about 7 or 8 other MLM companies started marketing Coral products and several regular distribution companies have recently joined in.

There are two sources of Okinawan Coral, which is mined above sea level and Marine Coral (below-sea), which is vacuumed from the ocean bottom near the Coral reefs. Which is best, Above-Sea or Below-Sea sourced coral?

Laboratory analysis of the two kinds shows each variety has 74 minerals and has similar quantities of the minerals. Above-Sea Coral tends to have a little higher percentage of Calcium – 35 to 38% while the Marine variety has 20 – 24% calcium.

So when you read about a company having 500 mg of Coral calcium per capsule, you know that roughly 1/3 of that is pure calcium – most of the better companies will point out the exact percentage. All of it comes from Okinawan Coral and toxic levels of heavy metals is a non-issue for all above-sea and almost all below-sea coral.

The fossilized coral suppliers claim that theirs is in aragonite form which is more soluble than the marine variety which is heat-treated and becomes a calcite form of crystal. This has been verified in a Japanese laboratory. The Marine coral suppliers say theirs is advantageous due to a natural 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. Our research indicates that magnesium has likely been added to accomplish this ratio – which is fine. Some of the fossilized brands have magnesium added too, but the fossilized companies are up-front about it.

Whenever a company promotes something as “naturally occurring” and it has been added, it makes us wonder where else the truth is being stretched on their product. A little foray to Okinawa last summer unearthed another matter of concern regarding “Marine” coral – that is the purity of a product that involves vacuuming the ocean floor. We obtained raw marine coral product samples, which have a high sand content. This is not all bad as sand is not toxic or harmful. It is just not a pure coral product. These impurities are likely the reason Marine Coral has lower calcium content than Fossilized coral.

We know that Mr. Barefoot is currently promoting “Marine Coral”, but one must remember his history of representing a number of coral companies over the years and each brand he represents at the time has “the best form”. When he represented Fossilized Coral it was the best – currently he is representing Marine Coral, but we hear rumours that he may switch again soon to promoting fossilized coral. It doesn’t really matter. We recommend that you choose your coral based on its merits, not on who is promoting it. If one was to choose a coral based on the credentials of the promoter, one would be better off backing the likes of a Dr Bruce Halstead MD, PhD who is better qualified, and wrote the definitive title on Fossilized Coral Stony Minerals (available through several companies on the web) – his choice was Above-Sea sourced coral.

Every company has a list of amazing success stories with their brand of Coral which we have no reason to doubt given the well documented longevity of the Okinawan people who live on a giant fossilized coral reef and ingest Coral minerals daily from their water! Although we would take “Marine” Coral if it were the only type available, we favor fossilized coral for reasons noted above. Some people also favor the fossilized form on ethical grounds – because the Marine vacuuming process can be damaging to the Coral environment. “

I recommend rather following The Natural Way 5 steps and taking Barleylife daily, the long term effects are for more rewarding

Mary-Ann Shearer

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