Marine or Land Coral Calcium?

The complete story of Barefoot Coral Calcium, its popularity, and the ethics resulting from success:

Marine grade coral calcium is harvested in environmentally safe processes and Bob Barefoot's coral calcium research, experience and travels have verified this. Marine grade coral calcium deserves it's popularity.

Coral calcium, a nutritional supplement from Okinawa, has suddenly become the hottest topic on the Internet. Almost anytime, anywhere on US television, coral calcium infomercials can be seen. Sales have increased ten fold in the past year and appear to be heading for another ten fold increase this year. That's a 100 fold increase within 2 years. As a result, both sellers and suppliers are jockeying for position. The stakes are high and ethics in business have gone out the window. The result is that the public is totally confused, and with no end in site. And to add to the confusion, there are almost no "real" experts on the subject.

For example, an inexperienced amateur travels to Okinawa and gathers information to support his sales, and is then hailed as a hero by another self-proclaimed expert as his findings support his own sales of coral. I personally have been exposed to coral since 1982 and have written extensively on the subject. Many consider me to be the ruling expert. However, the more you know, the more you realize that there is more to know. As a result, I have recently completed a trip to Okinawa where I toured the reef and coral operations, including several coral calcium production facilities, and had several meetings with the recognized academic experts on the subject of the Okinawan coral reefs. Myths have been dispelled and the facts have emerged. I will now share them with you.

First, there are two types of coral calcium, marine harvested and land based. The marine has two types, low magnesium (CCP) and high magnesium (SMP), and is referred to as "marine coral". The land based is a very low magnesium content and is referred to as "rock coral". The original magnesium and other nutrients have been washed out by weathering. This makes it an obviously lower grade coral. Also, because it can be inexpensively surfaced mined and produced for less than one quarter the price of the marine coral, most American nutrient companies prefer it as it dramatically increases their profits. To combat the fact that rock coral is obviously a lower grade, they have created a propaganda campaign suggesting that the mining of marine coral is killing the reefs, referring to fossilized as ecologically safe.

If this were true, I would eagerly join their ranks. As evidence they provide reports from "experts" who have never been to Okinawa and some of whom have yet to receive their degrees, and who only provide "speculation without supporting facts". They even show pictures of ships supposedly harvesting the coral and making a mess of the sea. It is graphic, horrific and inaccurate. The ship is a "bucket dredge" used to clean harbors while marine coral is harvested with "suction dredges" surrounded by fences to prevent any losses to the sea and with all water being filtered clean before being pumped back to the sea. This demonstrates the lengths to which the rock coral producers, who claim to be "ecologically safe", will go to deceive the American public and maintain their extorted profits.

Another part of the propaganda campaign is the suggestion of the rock coral producers that there is no such thing as natural coral with the perfect 2:1 calcium:magnesium ratio. Even medical doctor self-proclaimed coral specialists write that they have read no scientific evidence. This should not be a surprise as most doctors do not have time to read, but they do agree that there is substantial scientific evidence that this ratio is the most beneficial to human health. This would make marine coral much superior to fossilized coral. To combat this fact, they suggest that magnesium is being added to the marine coral. However, the facts speak different. Of the 12,000 tons per year that Marine Bio produces, only 200 tons meet the strict calcium:magnesium ratio requirement. There are numerous government assays as well as scientific publications verifying this. For example, Dr Kunihiko Ishitano, in his publication "Calcium Absorption from the Ingestion of Coral-Derived Calcium By Humans" shows that the 2:1 calcium:magnesium coral is responsible for a dramatic increase in the absorption of calcium by the human body. Also, Dr Taishido Setagaya, of the University of Tokyo, in his publication "The Problem on the Lack on Ingestion of Calcium and Magnesium in Japan and Coral Calcium" write that the required 2:1 calcium:magnesium ratio can be found in "special" marine coral. Bob Barefoot, who has no doubt that the "special" coral calcium exists, has gathered his own samples, for the doubting Thomas's in America, that are currently being assayed in America.

Coral Mining Facts:

1.  Mining coral has been done for hundreds of years as it is an excellent construction product for roads and buildings. This initially was done only on land.

2.  The coral reefs disintegrate over time and the broken off pieces, known as coral sand (coral calcium) is washed out to sea by ocean currents. The coral sand harvested by gentle suction dredges, is usually 2 to 3 miles downstream from the reefs.

3.  If any turbidity were to be produced, the currents would wash it out to sea away from the reefs.

4.  The amount of coral sands harvested for human consumption is less than 1% of the total construction coral sands produced.

5.  Every year 2.4 million tons of coral sands are naturally produced by the Okinawan reefs, while only a few hundred tons are being mined (over 10,000:1).

6.  Authorization to gather the marine coral is given to only 3 Work Cooperatives under the strict regulation of the Okinawan government and only allowed in specific areas. Marine Coral Ltd. was the first company to use the harvested coral sands for human consumption and they currently have a patent in the US for its use as a nutrient supplement.

7.  Okinawa gets 5 typhoons each year that produce the turbidity in the reefs equivalent to thousands of bucket dredging operations on top of the reefs, and yet the reefs are not harmed.

8.  Professor Makato Tsuchiya, a marine biologist at the University of Ryukyus in Okinawa, who specializes in the respiration and feeding of the reefs believes that the turbidity is a mechanism that feeds the reefs, and laughs at the concept that mining the sands 3 miles away downstream could damage the reefs. Dr. Tsuchiya is also Chairman of the 10th International Coral reef Symposium to be held in Okinawa in 2004, and also Chairman of the International Exchange Committee.

9.  Professor Tomotsu Oomari, environmental chemist at the University of Ryukyus in Okinawa, is currently writing a certificate for Marine Bio Ltd. allowing the acceptance of coral sand mining with the approval of the Okinawan government. He scoffs at the idea that the reef are being damaged.

10.  Marine Bio Ltd. Is an active member of the World Wildlife Federation, who would never have allowed their participation had they been harming the reefs.

11.  The Okinawan reefs look absolutely spectacular, I am in love.

The moral of the story is that marine grade calcium, which some actually refer to as Barefoot Coral Calcium, is harvested safely and provides the perfect calcium to magnesium ratio.