Shark cartilage became a popular medicine in the 1970s. But its popularity led to a decline in shark numbers. It was previously suggested that sharks don't get cancer, so consuming their cartilage might help prevent cancer in humans. But it is now clear that sharks do get cancer, and research hasn't shown benefits for cancer in humans.
People use shark cartilage for cancer, scaly itchy skin (psoriasis), osteoarthritis, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence supporting these uses.
Don't confuse shark cartilage with bovine cartilage, or with chondroitin, which can be sourced from shark cartilage.
Uses & Effectiveness
Likely InEffective for
Special Precautions and Warnings
When applied to the skin: Shark cartilage is possibly safe when used for up to 8 weeks.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if shark cartilage is safe to use when 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 contains calcium and might increase calcium levels. Do not use shark cartilage if you already have high calcium levels.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with SHARK CARTILAGE
Shark cartilage can increase the activity of the immune system. Some medications, such as those used after a transplant, decrease the activity of the immune system. Taking shark cartilage along with these medications might decrease the effects of these medications.
Be cautious with this combination
You Might Also Like
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 2020.