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Updated 18 February 2013

Coral

Corals are sea animals that grow in colonies. Corals are most often found in tropical oceans and are known as reef builders because they secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.

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RELATED TERMS

Anthozoa (class), Bio-Eye© hydroxyapatite implant, calcium carbonate matrix, carbonate bone replacement graft (BRG), coral carbonate, coral grafts, Coral Water™, coralline, Goniopora species, hydroxyapatite, natural coral, natural coral calcium, NC (porites), sea coral calcite.

Note: This review does not include a detailed description of calcium.

BACKGROUND

Corals are sea animals that grow in colonies. Corals are most often found in tropical oceans and are known as reef builders because they secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.

Natural and man-made coral are currently being studied for use in bone grafts. Coral has been shown to increase bone strength when incorporated into surrounding bone.

Although coral may be useful as a bone graft substitute, researchers state that more long-term information on safety and effectiveness is needed. Coral has been associated with an increased rate of infection and may cause problems in those who have or are prone to kidney stones.

EVIDENCE TABLE

Conditions

Uses
disclaimer: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Grade*

Bone healing (reconstructive surgery and grafting)

Coral may strengthen bone. Natural and man-made coral are currently being studied for use as substitutes for bone grafts.

C

*Key to grades: A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).

TRADITION

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below. Arthritis, cancer, heart disease.

DOSING

disclaimer: The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Adults (18 years and older)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for coral.

Children (under 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for coral. Use in children is not recommended.

SAFETY

disclaimer: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

Avoid with allergy or hypersensitivity to coral.

Side Effects and Warnings

Coral should be avoided in people who have or are prone to kidney disease or kidney stones. Coral may increase the risk of infection and wound irritation when used for bone grafting.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Coral is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

INTERACTIONS

disclaimer: Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

Interactions with Drugs

Coral, which contains calcium, may theoretically interact with blood pressure medications called calcium channel blockers (such as verapamil or diltiazem).

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Coral contains calcium and may have additive effects when take with other supplements containing calcium, especially in people who have kidney problems or kidney stones.

ATTRIBUTION

This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

  • Bizette C, Raul JS, Orhan B, et al. [Results of cervical interbody fusion with coral grafts]. Neurochirurgie 1999;45(1):4-14. View abstract
  • Boutault F, Cantaloube D, Testelin S, et al. [Role of coral blocks in cheek augmentation surgery. Prospective study of 23 patients]. Ann Chir Plast Esthet. 1997;42(3):216-222. View abstract
  • Jordan DR, Gilberg S, Mawn L, et al. The synthetic hydroxyapatite implant: a report on 65 patients. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998;14(4):250-255. View abstract
  • Marchac D, Sandor G. Use of coral granules in the craniofacial skeleton. J Craniofac Surg. 1994;5(4):213-217. View abstract
  • Martov AG. [The place of supravesical endourology in the modern combined treatment of urolithiasis]. Urol Nefrol (Mosk) 1994;(6):5-9. View abstract
  • Mercier J, Piot B, Gueguen P, et al. [The coral orbital floor. Its value in traumatology. The results of a multicenter study of 83 cases]. Rev Stomatol Chir Maxillofac. 1996;97(6):324-331. View abstract
  • Schulz A, Hilgers RD, Niedermeier W. The effect of splinting of teeth in combination with reconstructive periodontal surgery in humans. Clin Oral Investig. 2000;4(2):98-105. View abstract
  • Vuola J, Bohling T, Kinnunen J, et al. Natural coral as bone-defect-filling material. J Biomed Mater Res. 2000;51(1):117-122. View abstract
disclaimer: Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2011 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions. disclaimer: While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy. disclaimer: The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)



Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
 
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