Other Name(s):

Calcium Carbonate Matrix, Calcium de Corail, Corail, Corail de Mer, Corail Marin, Coral Calcium, Coralline Hydroxyapatite, Espèce Goniopora, Espèce Madrepora, Goniopora species, Madrepora species, Marine Coral, Matrice de Carbonate de Calcium, Porites species, Sea Coral.


Coral is the skeletal structure of a marine animal. It makes up coral reefs. Don't confuse coral with coral root (Corallorhiza odontorhiza).

Coral is used as a calcium supplement; to treat multiple sclerosis; and to treat and prevent cancer, heart disease, and other chronic health problems.

Surgeons use coral as a foundation for growing new bone in reconstructive surgery, cosmetic facial surgery, and in areas damaged by trauma. New bone cells grow inside the coral, which eventually dissolves.

The Federal Trade Commission has charged the marketers of a coral supplement called "Coral Calcium Supreme" with making unsupported health and medical claims about the product's ability to cure cancer or other diseases such as multiple sclerosis and heart disease.

How does it work?

Surgeons use coral as a replacement for bone. It seems to allow the body to grow new bone in its place.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Effective for...

  • Use as a surgical replacement for bone. Coral can be used in place of bone for spinal fusions and bone tumors. It can also be used in dental, facial, and other surgeries. Coral offers some advantages over bone transplants. It has a lower rate of infection and doesn't carry the risk of transmitting AIDS, hepatitis, or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Calcium supplement.
  • Treating multiple sclerosis.
  • Treating and preventing cancer, heart disease, and other chronic health problems.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of coral for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Coral is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used in surgery as a bone substitute. There is not enough information to know if coral taken by mouth is safe. Some oral coral products contain lead.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking coral if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of coral depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for coral. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Bizette, C., Raul, J. S., Orhan, B., Jacquet, G., and Czorny, A. [Results of cervical interbody fusion with coral grafts]. Neurochirurgie 1999;45(1):4-14. View abstract.

Boutault, F., Cantaloube, D., Testelin, S., Gueroult, J. M., and Huet, P. [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, D. R., Gilberg, S., Mawn, L., Brownstein, S., and Grahovac, S. Z. The synthetic hydroxyapatite implant: a report on 65 patients. Ophthal.Plast.Reconstr.Surg. 1998;14(4):250-255. View abstract.

Martov, A. G. [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., Cantaloube, D., Blanc, J. L., Boutault, F., Cariou, J. L., Devauchelle, B., Pellerin, P., Peri, G., Ricbourg, B., Stricker, M., and Wilk, A. [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.

Barrett S. Coral Calcium. June 12, 2003. (Accessed 26 June 2003).

Federal Trade Commission. FTC and FDA Take New Actions in Fight Against Deceptive Marketing. (Accessed 28 July 2003).

Marchac D, Sandor G. Use of coral granules in the craniofacial skeleton. J Craniofac Surg 1994;5:213-7. View abstract.

Roux FX, Brasnu D, Menard M, et al. Madreporic coral for cranial base reconstruction. 8 years experience. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 1995;133:201-205. 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;4:98-105.. View abstract.

Thalgott JS, Klezl Z, Timlin M, Giuffre JM. Anterior lumbar interbody fusion with processed sea coral (coralline hydroxyapatite) as part of a circumferential fusion. Spine 2002;27:E518-25.. View abstract.

Vuola J, Bohling T, Kinnunen J, et al. Natural coral as bone-defect-filling material. J Biomed Mater Res 2000;51:117-22.. View abstract.

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