Shark Cartilage

Shark Cartilage

General description

Shark cartilage is made from powdered shark skeleton. Sharks have no true bone. Their skeletons are made of cartilage. Shark cartilage is white. It has a fishy odor and taste.

It has been said to help prevent or treat cancer. But studies haven’t found any support for these claims.

Ingredients in shark cartilage include the following:

  • Mucopolysaccharides

  • Calcium

  • Phosphorus

Medically valid uses

There is no evidence that shark cartilage helps any health condition.

Unsubstantiated claims

Please note that this section reports on claims that have not yet been substantiated through studies.

Studies are looking if shark cartilage stops new blood vessels from forming. Agents that do this are called angiogenesis inhibitors. This may help fight certain cancers by cutting off their blood supply. Studies are also being done to learn if angiogenesis inhibitors treat certain cancers. However, most of these inhibitors are stronger than those in shark cartilage. They don’t come from shark cartilage. Even the newer, more potent agents have not clearly shown to be effective against cancer.

Shark cartilage is also claimed to boost the immune system. It may help manage many diseases. These can include the following:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Skin issues, such as psoriasis

  • Retinopathies, such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration

  • Bowel inflammation

  • Kaposi's sarcoma

  • Breast, cervix, uterus, ovary, prostate, kidney, liver, and central nervous system cancer

Dosing format

There is no current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for shark cartilage.

Shark cartilage comes in oral capsule and powder forms. It’s important to buy it from a high quality manufacturer. The suggested daily intake of shark cartilage is about 60 grams. But this equals 80 capsules per day.

Side effects, toxicity, and interactions

Like all supplements, shark cartilage can interact with other medicines. These include antibiotics and diabetes medicines. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking this supplement.



Online Medical Reviewer: Poulson, Brittany, RD, CDE

Online Medical Reviewer: Wilkins, Joanna, R.D., C.D.

Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2016

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