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Claims about coral calcium questionable

Published Sep. 2, 2005

Question: A friend of mine swears by coral calcium that she orders through the mail. She says it cures her aches and pains. What makes coral calcium different from the inexpensive calcium I buy in the grocery story?

Answer: Coral calcium comes from dead coral from the seabed, while the inexpensive calcium you buy might come from oyster shells or limestone deposits. Some marketers are promoting coral calcium as a cure-all for many chronic and serious conditions. The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission are beginning to clamp down on unsubstantiated claims.

Sip more often

Question: I have been drinking two cups of green tea a day for about eight years. Will green tea help me or hurt me?

Answer: Green tea contains a number of antioxidants that seem to provide some protection from cancer, chronic inflammatory diseases and even heart disease. In studies of human populations, though, these benefits are usually associated with more than two cups of tea daily.

Some organic lubricants

Question: Is there a natural sexual lubricant that is safe? I don't like the idea of using petroleum jelly or any other synthetic product internally.

Answer: Readers of this column have recommended using edible oils such as olive or almond oil.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist. Teresa Graedon holds a doctorate in medical anthropology and is a nutrition expert. Write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019, or e-mail them at or via their Web site:

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