Listening to the media and/or your MD you may get the impression that the only nutrients needed to build bone mass are calcium and vitamin D.
But bone is a very complex, dynamic tissue; and, as I have said many times, adding more calcium to make more bone is like adding more eggs to make more cake. You need the whole recipe not just one (or two) ingredients.
There is an entire spectrum of nutrients directly or indirectly involved in laying down new bone mass. At least sixteen minerals and vitamins are documented as playing a role, as well as protein like collagen, and I suspect many more trace minerals will be implicated as our understanding of this process advances.
Yet, despite the scientific evidence for or against the myriad of bone-building combinations on the market, since I started counseling people on nutrition and supplementation in 1986, few to none of these products seemed to improve people’s bone density scores with any consistency. This was until we started recommending Coral Calcium with added magnesium and vitamin D.
Coral Calcium is more than just calcium. It is actually a broad spectrum mineral complex very rich in hard to find trace minerals, many of which play roles in health that are still being discovered. That said, the magnesium content of Coral is lower than optimal, so adding extra is recommended, since the effects of calcium and magnesium so often offset and balance each other.
In many instances the improvements in bone density scores observed over 6 to 18 month periods have been quite dramatic, and even more so when the mineral Strontium was added.
The amounts people use are usually 4 capsules Coral Complex, yielding 1000mg of elemental Calcium, 700mg of elemental magnesium, (i.e. a 3:2 ratio), and 600 to 900 I.U or more of vitamin D. Most people add more vitamin D than this, and if there were to be other nutrients I would recommend to enhance bone health they would be vitamin K and Boron for their effects on the bone protein osteocalcin, and Strontium.
The favorable effects of Strontium on bone metabolism involve supporting the cells that form bone, (i.e. the osteoblasts), while reducing the activity of the cells which resorb or break down bone, (i.e. the osteoclasts). Due to competition for absorption and utilization, it is recommended to take strontium at a time separate from calcium and magnesium. But whether you add strontium or not, it was quite surprising even to us how many people we have worked with who have had marked increases in bone density while using the Coral Calcium with magnesium and vitamin D. (This formula has now been updated to include Vitamin K2, and Boron as well.)
Related: Coral Calcium Complete
The most plausible explanation for this is that the trace minerals, which form the majority of the coral complex, have a positive effect on how minerals in general are utilized by the body, and incorporated into bone. Or perhaps it is the very alkaline pH of the coral complex in solution that helps the body reverse bone loss….or more likely both factors play a role.
Regardless, this is what we have observed over approximately the last fifteen years. No matter how impressive a formula may sound, or how much evidence there may be for its ingredients, our experience is that the Coral Calcium seems to produce better results, based on reported bone density scans. And as we have always said “it’s the result that counts”. i.e. What actually happens is much more important than the theory which supports or refutes it, especially since the latter tends to change every decade or so.