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Calcium from Coral

I do not recommend calcium from coral. Actually it is not much different from oyster shell, which is a lot cheaper. Both extract minerals and trace minerals from the water, and both are composed of calcium carbonate, which is a terrible form of calcium to be taking.

Coral is a colony of living animals, called polyps. As fish respirate they release carbon dioxide into the water, which reacts with calcium to form calcium carbonate. The polyps extract the calcium carbonate from the water to cement themselves to a hard surface. New polyps then cement themselves to the old dead polyps and the cycle continues causing the coral to grow. In the process other minerals are extracted from the water, but the primary component of coral still remains calcium carbonate.

The big problem with calcium carbonate is that it is very alkaline, and neutralizes acids. With the big push to alkalinize, this may sound good at first, but parts of the body need to be acid, and being too alkaline in the blood is also a problem. The biggest concern here is the stomach, which definitely needs to be acid. The stomach needs to be acid actually for several reasons. For instance in order to digest proteins the body uses an enzyme called pepsin. But pepsin cannot work without sufficient stomach acid being present. And vitamin B12 cannot be absorbed from the gut either, unless there is sufficient stomach acid. But stomach acid levels naturally decline with age, which is why B12 deficiencies are common in the elderly. Another problem is that many minerals cannot be absorbed unless there is sufficient stomach acid present, or unless they are pre-acidified, such as citrates, or reacted with other acids in the stomach, such as fruit acids or vinegar added to foods. Carbonates actually interfere with the absorption of minerals, like calcium, and even more importantly silica.

Silica is the most important nutrient for bone health, and is also essential for healthy hair, nails, teeth, tendons, ligaments, arteries, etc. Silica deficiencies are also responsible for wrinkle formation since silica is essential for elastin formation, which helps keep the skin from sagging.

Another very important purpose of stomach acid is to control the growth of microbes, such as bacteria and yeast in the stomach since most cannot tolerate a high acid environment. Therefore, as stomach acid levels decline the risk of infection increases. For example, the most common cause of heartburn is a lack of stomach acid leading to an overgrowth of stomach yeast. Fermentation from the yeast leads to a carbon dioxide build up in the stomach. The resulting pressure tires out the sphincter muscle at the top of the stomach and it gives way allowing the gas to escape up the esophagus. When this happens, traces of acid go with the gas causing the heartburn. Unfortunately the medical community is still stuck on the long outdated idea that excessive stomach acid causes heartburn, and they do not bother to read their own medical texts. Excessive stomach acid, a condition known as hyperchlorrhydria, is considered extremely rare. Yet antacids and acid blockers, which cover up the symptoms while making the underlying problem worse, are the second largest selling drug class. One of these compounds commonly used to neutralize stomach acid is calcium carbonate, such as Tums, and coral. Stomach acid is the first thing the carbonate in the coral is going to come into contact with making it more effective in alkalinizing the stomach than the blood. This is a real bad idea! The best way to get around this problem is to get your minerals from food or herbs. Minerals in plants are naturally chelated, which means they are bound to proteins. Being bound to proteins the body will accept these sources like foods, and the proteins help chaperone the minerals into the body where they are separated and can do their job of helping to reduce acids in the blood, not the stomach.

There are actually different chemical compositions in the corals taken from above the water and below the water. The below water coral has more nutrients; this is in part due to what else is in it. The below water coral is actually coral sand dredged from the bottom. Therefore, it not only is the broken down coral being sucked up, but also any little plants and animals in the sand. The above water coral has been weathered and leached of many of its minerals.

In short, there are better choices for calcium than coral. For instance if you want a great source of calcium and trace minerals then you could use Atlantic kelp, which not only contains these minerals, but also vitamins, which are not found in coral. Seaweeds contain algins, which bind with heavy metals such as those found in the coral, and the seaweeds themselves. By binding with the heavy metals algins pull these heavy metals from the body. Coral and colloidal minerals from shale deposits being sold as “plant derived” cannot do this.

 
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