Shark Cartilage Supplements

Shark cartilage are available, and have been recommended by some practitioners for treatment of psoriasis alone or with shark cartilage by mouth, for 4 to 6 weeks.

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Shark cartilage are also demonstrating antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities in laboratory studies. These antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits may be responsible for any medical indications associated with shark cartilage supplementation.




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Cartilage Supplements

Shark cartilage are proteoglycans and glycoproteins (large molecules with protein and carbohydrate components), as well as protein and calcium salts. Shark cartilage is promoted mainly as an alternative to conventional cancer treatment, but some forms are being studied for use along with standard therapies.

Shark extracts

Shark cartilage are not usually absorbed by the intestinal tract and may be digested by proteolytic enzymes in the gut, but studies show that certain large proteins can be absorbed. No bioavailability studies with shark cartilage preparations are published, as it is unclear which active component to look for in the blood. One study in humans found a significant decrease in endothelial cell density within an inert subcutaneous implant following oral administration of a liquid shark cartilage extract, giving some support to the oral bioavailability of its antiangiogenic factors.

Shark cartilage are called mucopolysaccharides which particularly help relieve arthritic symptoms and other inflammatory conditions such as inflammation of the bowel. The shark cartilage used in treatments is commercially harvested, and is not from any endangered species of shark. The sharks approved for use are those in plentiful supply such as school sharks and gummy sharks. The fisheries are required to supply statutory declarations as to the origin of the shark harvested. The cartilage used in these treats are primarily supplied for pharmaceutical use only.

Cartilage Products

Shark cartilage are among the largest proteins produced by any cells. It is these strands, called macro proteins, that appear to carry the angiogenesis inhibitor; and it is these strands, so prevalent in shark cartilage, that give the cartilage 1,000 times the antiangiogenesis effect of mammalian cartilage. When looking at a piece of shark cartilage, you can see the strands containing the antiangiogenesis inhibitor in the matrices of all the components. These strands are very tough and almost impossible to pulverise, yet they are the material essential to antiangiogenesis. Thus, in order to produce an effective shark cartilage, it is essential that these strands be pulverised without denaturing the protein from which they are made. In addition, the abundant water content of cartilage (cartilage is more than 85 percent water) and the way in which the water is bound within the cartilage also make drying difficult and costly. Heat must be used sparingly since excessive heat is damaging. In shark cartilage, at least one of the proteins active as an angiogenesis inhibitor is denatured if processing temperatures are elevated. Furthermore, both the cartilage and the protein within it are inactivated if they are treated with solvents like acetone or submitted to strong acids for extended periods. Fortunately, there is practically no fat attached to shark cartilage, so solvent extraction as a processing step is unnecessary. In the processing of bovine cartilage, which normally has a fairly high amount of fat clinging to it, solvent extraction is needed to keep the product from turning rancid. The acetone used to remove the fat connected to bovine cartilage denatures the already modest amount of angiogenesis-inhibiting protein.