Coral Calcium

Question: I have been hearing many good things about coral calcium. What is your opinion about this supplement and do you recommend that I take it and give it to my child?

Answer: the truth is that I have been reading the same reports and, although I was skeptical all along, I knew very little about coral calcium until I decided to do some research on this topic.

If you want to sell a calcium supplement and really make some money, you’d better find a catchy name and make some bold claims even if you can’t substantiate them. In a nutshell,
this was my original thought and I must say I haven’t seen anything to change my mind.

Coral calcium is extracted from coral reefs near Okinawa, Japan and the health claims stem from the fact that Okinawans enjoy long healthy lives and apparently consume some of these coral extracts. The fact is that we have seen this type of marketing many times before and in all likelihood the Okinawans’ good health has more to do with their active lifestyle and traditional diet than coral calcium.

A closer look reveals that coral calcium is made primarily of calcium carbonate. This is the same type of calcium found in limestone and the antacid Tums. Although there is nothing specifically wrong with calcium carbonate, it is known to be very poorly absorbed, with absorption rates as low as 5%, especially in aging individuals. Other forms of calcium, including calcium citrate, far outperform the absorption of calcium carbonate.

One claim that is made for coral calcium is that it can raise blood pH making the body more alkaline. However, pH is determined by a complex set of factors and we can’t state either that raising pH is always desirable, or that calcium will predictably raise pH. In fact, within different ranges calcium can either increase or decrease alkalinity. One good place to start to assess pH balance of the body is to obtain a comprehensive blood chemistry, something that can be done with minimal expense.

The most outrageous claim I read was that coral calcium can extend life. I’ll let you be the judge of that one. To read all about these claims you can visit or

Comments are closed.