Published: 11/24/2005 - Updated: 08/10/2018
Unlike other living terrestrial and aquatic creatures, the shark does not have a single bone in the body, the skeleton is composed of pure cartilage. Bones are microscopic channels that permit the passage of blood vessels and nerve fibers of which cartilage lacks. Sharks have a powerful and highly effective immune system, their wounds heal quickly and do not often have infections because antibodies from their blood successfully fight bacterial and viral infections and protect from many deadly chemicals for many mammals. The shark is one of the few living creatures that almost never sick with cancer, which could be explained by the abundance of cartilage in them.
In December 1991 Dr. I. William Lane, a graduate of Nutritional Sciences and biochemist, received the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) Patent No. 5075112 for the U.S. market as a dietary supplement of shark cartilage. Dr. Lane believed it was difficult to obtain patent for this type of food because it's not often get hard evidence on their effectiveness: "Many dietary supplements are effective, but evidence of their effectiveness is difficult and sometimes there are no procedures to test." According to the FDA, a dietary supplement is something to add to food or diet , the best known are vitamins and minerals , fiber, garlic and unsaturated fish oils. These and other food supplements are regulated by the FDA standards for food, not for regulating drugs.
The patent issued to Dr. Lane says, among other things: " This invention relates generally to a method and a dose to inhibit angiogenesis or vascularization in animal intestinal wall holder, using an effective amount of shark cartilage, and substantially pure free of adhering tissue, divided into small particles especially to pass through the intestinal wall in the form of suspension and thereby inhibiting, among others, tumor growth and metastases, arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetic retinopathy and neovascular glaucoma, psoriasis, and inflammatory diseases with a vascular component."
Composition of Shark Cartilage
Chemical analysis shows that the dried single unadulterated shark cartilage comprises approximately 41 % ash, 39 % protein, 12% carbohydrates, 7% water, less than 1 % fiber and less 0.3 % fat.
1. Proteins: 30-40% cartilage powder ( Holtz 1995 Alencar et al 1995)
Extracellular structural proteins:
- Collagen Type I
- Collagen type II. Contains a high percentage of hydroxilisina
- Protein binding 40 kDa
- Tetranectin similar
- Metalloproteinase inhibitors . TIMP-2 protein similar
- Sphyrnastatin 1 and 2
- SCF2 angiogenesis inhibitor. Keratan sulfate ( Liang and Wong 2000 )
- Leucine rich Proteoglycan
3. Glucosamine glycans. Constitute 28 % of the cartilage powder (Milner 1999)
- Chondroitin sulfate 4%
- Dermatan sulfate
- Hyaluronic acid conjugated to glucosamine. 6%
4. Mineral: 750 mg of cartilage powder
- Calcium 270 mg
- Phosphorus as phosphate 142 mg
- 7.5 mg sodium
- Magnesium 3 mg
- Potassium 1.5 mg
- Zinc < 0.7 mg
- Iron < 0.03 mg
- Iodine 0.02 %
- Heavy metals <10 ppm
5. Carbohydrates . 6-8% (Boik 1995) exert an immunoregulatory and anti- inflammatory effect.
6. Lipids . <1 %
- Cholesterol , 0.07 % ( Alencar et al 1995)
- Phospholipids, 0.05 %. Phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, sphingomyelin , phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylserine , cardiolipin ( Alencar 1995 )
- fatty acids: Palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, esteraico acid, oleic acid, eicosatrienoic acid ( Alencar 1995)
It comprises 60% of calcium and phosphorus, in a proportion of 2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus. High levels of calcium and phosphorus are due to the calcification of cartilage, particularly of the spine.
Shark cartilage and joints
As we have explained, the supplement contains calcium, phosphorus and chondroitin. The latter is a nutrient acquired by blood. This element is distilled in the synovial fluid, leading to the normal movement of the joints. The synovial fluid covers the bone and is the lubricant and shock absorbing. When the human body does not produce sufficient quantities of glucosamine and chondroitin, synovial fluid loses its normal viscosity and therefore do not protect the joints. Begins pain, stiffness and mobility appears bones is lost.
It is assumed that shark cartilage acts to strengthen the immune system and has anti -inflammatory non-toxic properties.
Consumption of this product is popular as a preventative for athletes who often suffer muscle tear, for swollen joints and inflexibility. For some effects are noted, although the fact is that no journal yet proven benefits concerning cartilage joints.
Mode of taking shark cartilage
The material in the presentations can be the same. However, for high doses, the powder is probably the easiest to make and the most economical. In high doses gelatin capsules are illogical. High volumes of gelatin capsules may bring digestive problems. Some patients may find it easier to take than tablets dust, due to the strong smell of the latter. Again the dose is critical. The product type, tolerance to it, and how intake in the body depend on each patient and should be determined by him or her.
It can be mixed with water, juice or milk defatted, being recommended to drink between meals or 30 minutes before eating. You always have to prepare at the time to retain their power. Nor should use hot liquids, but cold or at room temperature.
When taking shark cartilage?
The portion of active proteins, essentially, can be damaged in part by increased exposure to stomach acid when administered orally cartilage. On an empty stomach, the cartilage would pass through the stomach quickly, with minimal damage from acids. This is the fundamental reason why it is suggested to take it on an empty stomach. However, if this is not possible, taking shark cartilage in the stomach partially filled, it would not be totally inefficient. The exact degree of destruction caused by stomach acids is difficult to assess.
As a precaution you should not take shark cartilage when just suffered a heart attack, not a pregnant woman who is building a network of blood vessels to nourish the developing fetus, and women wanting to be mothers because cartilage vascularization could hamper during the menstrual cycle.
- JW Alencar , JC Pessoa , AA Craveiro , MIL Machado , Matos FJA . 1995 . Chemical composition of shark cartilage . Rev 76:7-8 Farm Bras
- Boik J. 1995 . Cancer and Natural textbook of medicine to clinical basis Science and Research. Princeton , MN : Oregon Medical Press.
- 1995 S. Holt. Shark cartilage and neutraceutical update. Alternative and complementary therapies 1:414-416
- Liang KP • Wong JH 2000 . The characterization of angiogenesis inhibitor from shark cartilage . Adv Exp Med Biol 476: 209-223
- Milner M 1999 . a guide to the use of shark cartilage in the treatment of arthritis and other joint diseases inflamatory . Am Chiropractor 21: 40-42
- Karl Baumgartner, Natural Remedies , Valencia, 1998.
- William Lane . Sharks do not get cancer , Uranus , Barcelona, 1996.
- Moscardó Javier . Natural compounds generation . Valencia , 1998 .
- Romeu , Emma, Shark Cartilage Information Center. The healing network , 1997