Shark cartilage (tough elastic tissue that provides support, much as bone does) used for medicine comes primarily from sharks caught in the Pacific Ocean. Several types of extracts are made from shark cartilage including squalamine lactate, AE-941, and U-995.
Shark cartilage is most famously used for cancer . Shark cartilage is also used for osteoarthritis, plaque psoriasis, age-related vision loss, wound healing, damage to the retina of the eye due to diabetes, and inflammation of the intestine (enteritis).
Some people apply shark cartilage directly to the skin for arthritis and psoriasis.
Some people apply shark cartilage into the rectum for cancer.
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The Effectiveness ratings for Shark Cartilage are as follows:
Likely Ineffective for...
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
More evidence is needed to rate shark cartilage for these uses.
Shark cartilage might prevent the growth of new blood vessels needed for cancer to grow. It might also prevent the growth of blood vessels to psoriasis lesions. This might help heal these wounds.
Shark cartilage is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth for up to 40 months or when applied to the skin for up to 8 weeks.
It can cause a bad taste in the mouth, nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, constipation, low blood pressure, dizziness, high blood sugar, high calcium levels, weakness, and fatigue. It might also cause liver dysfunction. Some products have an unpleasant odor and taste.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking shark cartilage if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
"Autoimmune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Shark cartilage might cause the immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of autoimmune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using shark cartilage.
High calcium levels (hypercalcemia): Shark cartilage might increase calcium levels, so it should not be used by people whose calcium levels are already too high.
Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Shark cartilage might increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, shark cartilage might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.
Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
Shark cartilage might raise calcium levels. There is a concern that using it along with calcium supplements might make calcium levels too high.
Acidic fruit juice such as orange, apple, grape, or tomato, can lower the strength of shark cartilage as the minutes pass. If shark cartilage is added to a fruit juice, it should be added right before use.
The appropriate dose of shark cartilage 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 shark cartilage. 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.
AE-941, Cartilage de Requin, Cartilage de Requin du Pacifique, Cartilago de Tiburon, Collagène Marin, Extrait de Cartilage de Requin, Liquide de Cartilage Marin, Marine Collagen, Marine Liquid Cartilage, MSI-1256F, Neovastat, Pacific Shark Cartilage, Poudre de Cartilage de Requin, Shark Cartilage Powder, Shark Cartilage Extract, Sphyrna lewini, Squalus acanthias.
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