Image for Coral
Coral

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • 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. For an in-depth review on calcium, see Natural Standard's Herb & Supplements database.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Corals are marine animals from the class Anthozoa that exist as small sea anemone-like polyps, typically in colonies of many identical individuals. 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 synthetic coral are currently being investigated for use as a bone graft substitute in musculoskeletal implantation, and have shown efficacy in clinical orthopedics for over a decade (1). When coral is completely incorporated in surrounding bone, it has been able to withstand physiological stress not previously tolerable (1).
  • Available reports of coral implants have not demonstrated adverse effects distinct from those noted with Bio-Eye® (Integrated Orbital Implants Inc., San Diego, CA, USA), a commonly used synthetic coral (coralline) implant (2). Researchers have also found that the natural coral test implants were also easy to drill by hand, implanted without difficulty, and were less expensive.
  • Although coral has shown promise as potential bone graft substitute, researchers stress that more long-term safety and efficacy information is needed (3); septic complications and overt infection have occurred (3). Coral may also pose a risk to patients with renal complications or those who are prone to renal calculi (4).

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

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.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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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.