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The Coral Calcium Controversy

coral calcium

Coral calcium, a dietary supplement made of calcium carbonate and a wealth of trace minerals, is harvested off the shores of Okinawa, Japan. This much acclaimed mineral is best known for its proclaimed ability to change the alkalinity of water-based solutions. Many individuals, inspired by the teachings of Robert Barefoot, hold to the belief that coral calcium is a cure-all for a number of diseases.

The Robert Barefoot Theory Concerning Coral Calcium

Robert Barefoot is a bio-chemist and promoter of coral calcium. His theory advocates that while a healthy person has a high pH or alkaline reading and high oxygen levels, a person that is ill has a low pH reading and low oxygen levels. If the the pH levels of the sick can be raised or changed to alkaline, that person can overthrow any illness in question. Barefoot believes that the alkalinity of coral calcium can cure some 200 degenerative diseases caused by calcium deficiency.

Controversial Issues Concerning Coral Calcium

Laboratory analyses performed on coral calcium reveal that this supplement contains significant amounts of heavy metals, including lead. These findings pose a direct confrontation with Robert Barefoot's Coral Calcium theory for ultimate health. In fact, according to Andrew Weils, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, the claim that better health can be achieved by creating a more alkaline body has no basis in science. Coral calcium supplements, although more expensive than regular calcium supplements have not been proven any more effective. It is recommended that individuals needing extra calcium should take calcium carbonate products which are 30-35% absorbable in the body. Coral calcium is not 100% absorbable.

Another concern is that coral calcium causes severe allergic reactions. Shortness of breath, swelling and hives are characteristic of individuals who are allergic to shellfish. Shellfish living amongst the coral reefs contaminate the limestone deposits which can negatively affect individuals with allergies.

Coral Calcium Manufacturing Destroys the Environment

The widespread health claims concerning coral calcium has led to mass production of the supplement.This raises environmental issues because of the destruction of the beautiful ocean reefs that have taken thousands of years to grow. The reefs are also home to many ocean creatures, including fish and lobster. Becuse living coal reefs are now endangered, it is forbidden by law to harvest them. As an altenative, harvesters are using loose limestone deposits to make the coral supplements. Calcium from limestone deposits contain pollutants and heavy metals.

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