Coral Calcium... PART 2... questionable claims!

March 2003, Warren Matthews

Summary

In the last issue of Xtend-Your-Life we had a brief look at what coral calcium is and the two different types…below and above sea. As you may recollect, I believe for the reasons I gave that the above sea type is a much better option than the below sea type because of lower levels of contaminants.

In the last issue of Xtend-Your-Life we had a brief look at what coral calcium is and the two different types…below and above sea. As you may recollect, I believe for the reasons I gave that the above sea type is a much better option than the below sea type because of lower levels of contaminants.

This week I promised to deal with the claims made by many coral calcium promoters and put them into perspective. Unfortunately in order to do so it is necessary to refute a number of the claims made. This is a pity but it should not reflect on the product itself but rather on the methods used in its promotion. Because of the interest in this subject evident by the number of emails generated from the last issue I will make this a three part series. This week reflects on the questionable claims, the next issue will look at the valid claims and benefits.

The following are typical 'questionable' claims:

  • Coral Calcium contains a special microbe that pulls minerals through the intestinal wall.
  • Coral Calcium 'cures' cancer.
  • Coral Calcium can change the cells of the body from acid to alkaline.
  • Coral Calcium is the reason for the longevity of the Okinawan people.
  • Coral Calcium is safe in large doses.

Let's first examine the most ridiculous claim. "Coral Calcium contains a special microbe that pulls minerals through the intestinal wall".

This is so far out that I can only shake my head in wonderment how the promoters can still get away with it! Anyway, this is what the promoters claim and I quote: "When you take below sea Coral Calcium there are special microbes that will come out of the coral and literally pull the minerals through your intestinal wall into the blood stream". This I'm afraid is pure fantasy as no such microbes have even been found in coral and should such a 'beast' exist I doubt very much that it would be hardy enough to withstand the 1,000 degree heat which marine coral is subjected to as part of the process to vaporize heavy metals. That would be one powerful microbe!!

Coral calcium cures cancer?

Some companies claim that coral calcium cures every imaginable type of cancer. They also claim it will cure just about any other ailment as well. (More on the other ailments in the next section).

There is evidence that suggests that calcium in general is helpful in preventing colon cancer. Calcium acts as a protective agent in the colon, precipitating carcinogenic surfactants which in turn protect the epithelial lining of the intestinal tract. (Lapre, et al, 1993)

I am sure that coral calcium as with other calcium's is helpful in fighting other cancers as well PROVIDED it is combined with part of an overall wellness regime. But, to say it is a cure for cancer is way over the top! A program for the prevention of cancer is multi-faceted and no one single nutrient can do it all.

Changing the cells from being acidic to alkaline

Much of the argument supporting the claims of coral calcium to cure cancer and many other ailments is based on the premise that when you take coral calcium you change the pH state of your body and thus the cells from acid to alkaline. (pH is the term used to measure the degree of acidity or alkalinity in the body). The promoters of this 'cure' claim that cancer cells cannot survive in an alkaline environment. This is true... but no cells including healthy ones can live in an alkaline environment either so the argument is negated.

Taking calcium supplements or eating certain foods can change your pH levels…but only in your urine, not in the cells themselves. So, the argument that the cells are changed from being acidic to alkaline after ingesting coral calcium does not hold true. This same principle applies to any other substance that you may ingest. To better understand the logic behind this…a quick biology lesson:

Your stomach is always acidic. It has to be otherwise you could not digest your food. When your food passes out of your stomach into your intestine it is acidic. Secretions from your pancreas neutralize the acidity. The fluctuation between acidity and alkalinity is very small and is controlled by your organs.

The medical mainstream position is that neither the intake of food or supplements will have any impact on the acidity of your bloodstream or your cells but it will on the pH of your urine. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary I tend to go along with that view.

The longevity of the Okinawan people!

It does appear that the Okinawan people do enjoy longer lives than most other people and keep better health, but it is far too simplistic to suggest that it is due to the ingestion of coral calcium. I have no doubt that the water that they drink which has been filtered through the coral on their islands (not from the bottom of the ocean) has played a measurable part in their good health... but only a part.

A major factor in their good health and longevity is their lifestyle and diet. It is so far removed from that of a typical westerner. They are far more active, eat less processed food and the food that they do eat is more nutritious, they have less stress and take few if any prescription drugs.

To compare these people is like 'apples to oranges' and their reported good health should not be an influence on whether or not to take coral calcium.

You can't overdose with coral calcium...

Don't believe it. You can overdose with any substance…even water. True, if you take in more coral calcium than your body needs the excess will pass through you. But, there is the potential of upsetting the balance of the mineral in your body and creating complications. For example, it is possible to get hypercalcemia if you ingest too much calcium. This has been found to be a problem with people who use liquid ionized calcium supplements.

Hypercalcemia is a condition characterized by disturbances in neuromuscular function, muscle weakness, polyuria, dehydration, thirst, anorexia, vomiting and constipation. This problem comes about due to excess serum calcium which interferes with parathormone which controls in part the distribution of calcium in the body.

Unlike liquid ionized calcium supplements this condition is not common with people who take a powdered form of calcium. Nonetheless it would be silly to put it to the chance. A suggestion that 6 grams a day of coral calcium is OK, is in my opinion taking an unnecessary risk. I personally would not exceed 2 grams a day and would suggest that 1.5 grams is more sensible. (That's what I will soon be taking)

That's the last of the bigger 'out of line' claims by the promoters of coral calcium. Please appreciate that it has not been my intention to put you off coral calcium in any way, and I hope that I have not done so. I believe coral calcium has a number of benefits over an above other calcium supplements and for this reason we intend using it as one of the components in a new product. However, I felt it was important that you are given the message that this product is first and foremost a valuable calcium supplement, but it is not a miracle substance which will cure all that ails you!

In our next issue of Xtend-Your-Life I will look at the claims that really do 'stack up' and then I hope you will have enough information to make up your own mind on this important subject.

In good health,

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