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Coral Calcium


Calcium is one of the most important minerals of those that your body requires. Coral calcium is chemically one of the more bioavailable forms of calcium – calcium carbonate. Coral calcium has attracted a great deal of negative attention over the past several years, thanks to a few overeager promoters who made outrageous and over-exaggerated claims for its benefits. The unfortunate fallout is that the very real benefits of coral calcium have also been called into question.


Simply put, coral calcium is a highly available, easily digestible form of calcium, which your body requires for healthy functioning of nearly every one of its systems. While calcium is most well known as the stuff that bones and teeth are made of, there is barely a system or process in your body that does not require calcium in some way, but calcium isn’t always easy for your body to absorb. According to chemical analysis, coral calcium from Okinawa contains trace minerals and elements that may enhance the body’s ability to absorb and use the calcium.


What Coral Calcium Does:

Approximately 99% of the calcium in the body is stored in the bones and teeth, where it forms the skeleton and support of the body’s frame. The other 1% is found in the soft tissues, and is involved in metabolism, transmission of neural messages, muscle contraction, including the heart’s beating and regulation of hormones and enzyme activity. It also is involved in the tone and flexibility of blood vessel walls, which may help regulate blood pressure. Without sufficient calcium, the body can not absorb and make use of vitamin B12 properly, which can lead to the symptoms of B12 deficiency even though the diet shows adequate intake of the vitamin.


In order for calcium to be utilized properly by the body, it must also have adequate supplies of several other nutrients, including magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamins A, C, D and K.


Where Coral Calcium Comes From:

Coral calcium is the calcium found in limestone deposits that were once parts of coral reefs – fossilized coral. The most plentiful source of coral calcium is Okinawa, although there are other sources in Brazil that claim to be similar in composition to Okinawan coral calcium.


Typically, there are two types of coral calcium – above sea coral calcium and undersea coral calcium. The coral that is used in undersea coral calcium is harvested by vacuuming up coral from the ocean floor. Because of the method used, the coral calcium derived from it is generally far less pure and is often contaminated with lead, PCBs and other heavy metals. Above sea coral calcium is harvested in much the same way that metals are mined. The layer of top soil is removed, uncovering the coral beneath it, which is then ‘mined’ and processed before being ground for inclusion in a coral calcium supplement.


Health Benefits of Coral Calcium:

Over the past several years – since about 1992 – there have been some outrageous claims made for the health benefits of coral calcium. Among them are claims that coral calcium cures all types of cancer, reverses aging and is a miraculous cure-all for nearly every disease known to man. Unfortunately, the over-inflated hype has called into question the real benefits of taking coral calcium, and tainted an excellent source of a necessary nutrient with cries of quackery. The facts are:


  • Coral calcium does not cure cancer. There are studies, however, that show that coral calcium helps protect the colon from cancer by stimulating the production of cells that protect the epithelial lining of the intestine from cancerous cells. Further studies suggest that coral calcium may help prevent other forms of cancer as part of a full health program, as calcium helps the body absorb other nutrients that are antioxidant in nature.

  • The much-vaunted longevity of the people of Okinawa is due to many factors, not just to their consumption of coral calcium. It’s very likely that their high consumption of calcium from coral plays a part in helping to maintain their health, but other factors like healthier diet and lifestyle also play a very large part.

  • Coral calcium is more easily absorbed by the body than inorganic calcium carbonate. That makes the calcium from coral more available to the body, and more useful in building strong bones and teeth, as well as promoting better neural and vascular health.

  • Above sea coral calcium contains 73 trace minerals, most in proportions that are very similar to the proportions in which they are found in the human body. While studies on the significance of those trace minerals are incomplete, there is evidence to suggest that taking these trace minerals in the proportions that are similar to those in which the body uses them is beneficial to the overall health.

  • Coral calcium can help you lose weight. The National Institute of Health published a review of a number of studies regarding calcium and weight loss in 2003. Their conclusion is that people whose diets are high in calcium lose greater amounts of weight than those who don’t consume as much calcium, and those losses of fat are higher in the trunk area than in other parts of the body.


Recommended Daily Intake of Calcium:

These are the recommended daily intakes for calcium suggested by the Institute of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health.


  • Children 1-3 years – 500 mg

  • Children 4-8 years – 800 mg

  • Children 9-13 years – 1300 mg

  • Males 14-18 – 1300 mg

  • Females 14-18 –  1300 mg

  • Males 19+ - 1000 mg

  • Females 19+ - 1000 mg

  • Males 50+ - 1200 mg

  • Females 50+ - 1200 mg

  • Pregnant females – 1000 mg

  • Lactating females – 1000 mg


The Institute of Medicine has also defined an upper tolerable intake limit for calcium, which is 2500 mg, regardless of age or gender. Many experts recommend checking labels for the amount of elemental calcium provided per serving rather than just the amount of calcium. A calcium supplement that claims to provide 1200 mgs of calcium may only provide 300 mgs of elemental calcium, the form your body needs in order to make use of it.


Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency:

The most well-known symptoms of calcium deficiency are bone loss and osteoporosis, but there are other symptoms that may appear, even at sub-clinical levels of deficiency. These include poor tooth and bone development, muscle spasm and cramping especially in the hands and feet, hair loss, dry skin and nails, peeling nails, nausea and vomiting, headaches, anxiety, tingling or burning sensation around the mouth and in the fingers.


Coral Calcium Toxicity:

Taking calcium in amounts higher than the recommended tolerable upper intake limit of 2500 mgs daily may cause calcification of soft tissues, and renal (kidney) stones.


Supplementing with Coral Calcium:

According to the National Institutes of Health, many Americans do not eat a diet that provides enough calcium to ensure strong, healthy bones and teeth. In addition, lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking coffee can diminish calcium levels, and diets deficient in one or more other nutrients can prevent the body from making full use of its calcium stores. Because calcium is such a vital nutrient for so many of the body’s processes, most doctors recommend calcium supplements to make sure that their patients get enough calcium for optimal health.


For many reasons, our own choice of calcium supplement is Bone-Support from Xtend-Life natural products. Because calcium carbonate tablets are often not completely digested, Xtend-Life has chosen to offer its coral calcium supplement in powder form, thus ensuring that more of the calcium available is actually digested. In addition to the 74 trace minerals that are found in coral calcium, Xtend-Life also add both red and green phytonutrients to the formula for Bone-Support, making it one of the most complete calcium supplements on the market. The nutrients from green and red vegetables work synergistically with the calcium and minerals to boost the effectiveness of each ingredient. Like all of the Xtend-Life products, Bone-Support is designed to supplement and work together with a healthy diet and with the other supplements in the Xtend-Life family.




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