Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Find a Vitamin or Supplement

SHARK CARTILAGE

Other Names:

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 Carti...
See All Names

SHARK CARTILAGE Overview
SHARK CARTILAGE Uses
SHARK CARTILAGE Side Effects
SHARK CARTILAGE Interactions
SHARK CARTILAGE Dosing
SHARK CARTILAGE Overview Information

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, including a type of cancer called Kaposi’s sarcoma, that is more common in people with HIV infection. Shark cartilage is also used for arthritis, psoriasis, 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.

How does it work?

Shark cartilage might help prevent tumor growth.

SHARK CARTILAGE Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Likely Ineffective for:

  • Advanced, previously treated cancers of the breast, colon, lung, prostate, and brain; and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. However, studies of shark cartilage in people with less advanced cancer have not been published.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Kidney cancer. Taking shark cartilage extract AE-941 by mouth seems to increase survival in patients with advanced kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma). This product has FDA “Orphan Drug status” for renal cell carcinoma. The Orphan Drug law gives drug makers special incentives to study drugs for rare conditions.
  • Psoriasis. Developing research suggests that AE-941 taken by mouth might improve appearance and decrease itching of plaque psoriasis.
  • Osteoarthritis. When applied to the skin (used topically), products containing shark cartilage in combination with chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine sulfate, and camphor, reportedly reduce arthritis symptoms. However, any symptom relief is most likely due to the effect of camphor and not the other ingredients. Additionally, there's no research showing that shark cartilage is absorbed through the skin.
  • Arthritis.
  • Eye complications.
  • Wound healing.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate shark cartilage for these uses.


SHARK CARTILAGE Side Effects & Safety

Shark cartilage is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken appropriately by mouth for up to 40 months or applied to the skin for up to eight 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, and fatigue. Some products have an unpleasant odor and taste.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of shark cartilage during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

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.

SHARK CARTILAGE Interactions What is this?

We currently have no information for SHARK CARTILAGE Interactions

SHARK CARTILAGE Dosing

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.

See 23 Reviews for this Treatment - OR -

Review this Treatment

Learn about User Reviews and read IMPORTANT information about user generated content

Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

Search for a Vitamin or Supplement

Ex. Ginseng, Vitamin C, Depression

Today on WebMD

Woman taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
Man taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
 
clams
Quiz
Woman in sun
Slideshow
 
Flaxseed added fiber
Video
!!69X75_Vitamins_Supplements.jpg
Evaluator
 
Woman sleeping
Article
Woman staring into space with coffee
Article
 
IMPORTANT: About This Section and Other User-Generated Content on WebMD

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatment or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.