Shark Cartilage Supplements

Shark cartilage comes from the skeleton of a shark which is made up of cartilage, rather than bone.

The popularity of shark-cartilage supplements began to sweep the nation mainly in response to a book entitled Sharks Don't Get Cancer, which claimed that shark cartilage harbored an anti-cancer substance that protected them against the disease.

Needless to say, as it turns out, sharks actually do get cancer. However, it is true that their cartilage harbors a compound that in the laboratory at least, has shown to have anti-cancer effects. It appears to have the ability to inhibit the growth of new blood vessels to feed tumors – a biological process called angiogenesis.

It's important to note that the growth of many tumors requires the creation of new blood vessels to supply them with nutrients to feed it. As such, anything that blocks the blood supply – a source of nourishment to the tumor stops the tumor from growing and eventually kills it. It is thought that shark cartilage contains compounds that have an anti-angiogenesis effect.

Shark-cartilage supplements is purported to ease the pain and inflammation for arthritis sufferers, but it's best known as an alternative treatment for cancer.

Shark Cartilage: Evidence of Efficacy in Humans

Shark cartilage contains significant amounts of a compound called chondroitin sulfate that has shown promise on its own as an arthritis remedy. However, there are more effective alternatives such as MSM, SAMe, and glucosamine in this regard. In fact, as supplements, chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are most effective when taken together to treat osteoarthritis.

More recently, a group of Canadian researchers discovered that shark-cartilage used on the skin had an anti-inflammatory effect.

In short, although shark-cartilage has shown to harbor anti-cancer effects in laboratory studies, it has NOT shown much promise in humans. There's been several studies conducted on cancer patients and unfortunately it was found to have little to no effect in slowing down the disease or improving quality of life. Most of the evidence on shark-cartilage's effectiveness for curing cancer is based on testimonials, rather than scientific evidence.

Therefore, at this time, it does not appear to provide significant value as a dietary supplement. Perhaps future clinical studies and research will uncover new findings and provide the evidence needed to be a real benefit to cancer patients.

Until then, claims made that shark-cartilage supplements is effective against cancer and viral diseases, including HIV and herpes infections, have not been scientifically proven, and, as such, one should consider supplements with more proven benefits. For example, green tea as a source for cancer prevention.

Lastly, due to the lack of human data on cancer treatment with shark-cartilage, we do not advocate that it should be used as a primary therapy in cancer. Put simply, shark-cartilage is not an alternative to conventional cancer treatments. This condition is a potentially life threatening disease and requires proper medical attention.

Tips on Choosing Shark-Cartilage Supplements

If you're set on taking a shark-cartilage supplement, we have provided you with a few recommended guidelines to help you through this endeavor:

1. First, consumers need to exercise extreme caution when buying supplements since purity and correct processing of the product are crucial to its effectiveness. Therefore, it's important that you read labels carefully because not all products contain 100% pure shark-cartilage. To ensure that the product is pure shark-cartilage it should be white in color. You're best bet is to opt for brands that specialize in shark cartilage.

In addition, it is recommended that if you're taking large quantities of shark-cartilage, it may be necessary to increase your supplementation in certain minerals, especially magnesium and potassium.

2. Select a supplement produced at pharmaceutical standard registered facilities. Dietary supplements are not highly regulated by the FDA in the U.S. and, as such, manufacturers do not have to guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or even the true content of their products. In fact, consumers only have a 1 in 5 chance of buying a product that contains what is stated on the label or one that does not harbor contaminates.

Pharmaceutical GMP compliant manufactures comply with stringent regulatory standards.

If you are interested in a product to serve as a foundation for vibrant health we highly recommend Total Balance from a company located in New Zealand. Total Balance contains a full spectrum of over 70 nutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, specialty nutrients, including powerhouse cancer protecting nutrients, potent antioxidants, and many other herbal extracts.

Always consult a physician before taking any dietary supplements.

To Your Health!

The Editors


Much more than shark cartilage can be found at our Health Supplement Guide web-page
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