Coral calcium is a dietary supplement important for healthy bones and teeth. Without adequate levels of this nutrient in the blood, the body will break down bone and teeth. Coral calcium was previously believed to be more effective than other forms of calcium, but there is actually no evidence to support these claims. Potential side effects of this supplement include gas, constipation, and kidney stones.
What Is Coral Calcium?
Coral calcium is a form of calcium used in some calcium supplements. At one time, many advertisements claimed that coral calcium was significantly better than other forms of calcium. These advertisements also made incredible claims about the benefits of coral calcium, such as the ability to cure cancer. The truth is that coral calcium is just calcium carbonate (the same type found in many inexpensive calcium supplements). In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have required companies from making such unsubstantiated claims. There is no evidence that coral calcium has any benefit over the other types.
Most of the calcium in the human body is stored in the bones and the teeth. While many people think of bones and teeth as being permanent, unchanging structures, they are actually always being broken down and rebuilt. It is essential to keep a certain steady level of calcium in the blood. If blood calcium levels are too low, the body will break down bone and teeth to increase these levels. If the blood levels are high, the body uses the extra calcium to rebuild bone and teeth.
Is Coral Calcium Effective?
Coral calcium is effective for some uses, but not any more effective than any other type of calcium. However, many uses have only a little scientific evidence in their favor, and some have almost none at all (see Does Calcium Work? for more information).
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed October 21 2008.
National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary supplement fact sheet: Calcium (9/23/2005). NIH Web site. Available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/calcium.asp. Accessed October 13, 2008.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999. Available at: http://books.nap.edu/books/0309063507/html/index.html. Accessed October 21, 2008.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click