|Shark Cartilage Benefits, Shark Cartilage Side Effects,
Shark Cartilage Uses, cancer and arthritis August 1, 2013
Shark cartilage is made up of mainly collagen, amino acids, minerals and glycosaminoglycan.
Shark cartilage contains over 40% pure collagen protein, plus essential and non essential amino acids. Collagen and
Amino Acids are necessary for elasticity of the tissues, healing of cracked skin, torn ligaments and tendons and growth
and rejuvenation of skin and connective tissues. It is also a good source of minerals-calcium, phosphorous, magnesium,
potassium, zinc, iron and chromium, manganese and silica. These components are essential for the maintenance and
normal function of cells, muscles, bones and joints. Glycosaminoglycans attract and retain moisture to resist compression
and deliver nutrients to cells that need it. They are also important building blocks for joint cartilage components, shock
absorbing properties and replenishment of joint fluid lubricant.
SHARK CARTILAGE BENEFITS
THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF SHARK CARTILAGE ON CANCERS, PSORIASIS..
Angiogenesis is an important feature for tumor growth. In the past, cartilage has been shown to be a natural source of
material with strong antiangiogenic activities. And, some manufacturers suggest that shark cartilage may provide benefits
in treating diseases such as osteo-arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and eczema.
Mutagenesis is a process by which the genetic information of an organism is changed in a stable manner, resulting in a
mutation. Mutations may or may not produce discernable changes in the observable characteristics of an organism.
Mutations play a part in both normal and abnormal biological processes, including evolution, cancer, and the development
of the immune system. Shark cartilage was found to be able to protect cells against reactive oxygen species induced DNA
damage and mutagenesis.  This observation suggests that shark cartilage supplements or extracts may benefit people
at risk of certain types of cancers.
Angiogenesis is the physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels. Angiogenesis
is a normal and vital process in growth and development, as well as in wound healing. But, it is also a fundamental step in
the transition of tumors from a benign state to a malignant one. In a study of infiltration of CD(4)(+) and CD(8)(+)
lymphocytes into a murine tumor model, a protein fraction of shark cartilage was found to have anti-angiogenic effects.
This protein faction could also augment cellular immune response and T-cell infilration into the tumor.  In a separate
study, researchers purified SCAIF-I, an inhibitor of angiogenesis, with molecular weight of 18 kD, from shark cartilage and
they suppressed 87.93% of the growth of Lewis lung carcinoma implanted in C57BL/6 mice. [5,6] Further, The ingredient,
troponin I, from shark cartilage was found to have antiangiogenic effect.  These pieces of evidence suggest shark
cartilage extracts may offer benefits to people at risk of cancers.
Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disease associated with dilation of capillaries. In advanced conditions, lesions
develop. Cartilage is an "avascular tissue", it was thought that cartilage contained factors to inhibit blood vessel formation.
An active agent (termed AE-941) from shark cartilage was found to have antiangiogenesis activity in an embryonic
vascularization test, they AE-941 (Neovostat trade mark; AEterna) may potentially have and test its antiangiogenesis
activity using the embryonic vascularization test. The result suggested that topical AE-941 (Neovostat trade mark;
AEterna) may have a beneficial effect in psoriasis.[8-10]
Oral administration of a wate-soluble fraction of shark cartilage caused 25.7% inhibition of the paw edema produced in
female Wistar rats (200-250g) by carrageenan. A protein molecule in shark cartilage was found to be important for these
anti-inflammatory / analgesic activities.  Thus, shark cartilage extract may benefit people at risk certain types of
inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by inflammation of the synovial membrane,
leading to articular cartilage destruction. A study of rats demonstrates the potential health benefits of oral shark cartilage
polysaccharide on rheumatoid arthritis.
Shark cartilage may potentially provide benefits to people suffered from arthritis because chondroitin sulfate from shark
cartilage was found to be able to modulate the function of synovial fibroblasts and chondrocytes. And chondroitin sulfate is
very likely to be multifunctional chondroprotective material for degenerative arthritis. 
THE POSSIBLE USES / BENEFITS OF CARTILAGE IN CANCER TREATMENTS
We have discussed how shark cartilage extracts affect angiogenesis and mutagenesis, and how these extracts potentially
benefit people at risk of cancers and related diseases. In fact, bovine (cow) cartilage has also found to have similar effects
(to a certain extent). Bovine cartilage and shark cartilage have been studied as treatments for cancer for more than 30
years. Three principal mechanisms of action have been proposed to explain the antitumor potential of cartilage: 1) it kills
cancer cells directly; 2) it stimulates the immune system; and 3) it blocks the formation of new blood vessels
(angiogenesis), which tumors need for unrestricted growth.
Cartilage has a specialised extracellular matrix synthesised by chondrocytes that is both complex and unique. Of these
components, a few such as thrombospondin-1, chondromodulin-1, the type XVIII-derived endostatin, SPARC (secreted
protein acidic and rich in cysteine) and the type II collagen-derived N-terminal propeptide have demonstrated anti-cancer
properties in vitro and in vivo preclinical trials (2012).  Well, the in vitro and animal data on how shark cartilage
extracts may benefit people at risk of cancers and related diseases are promising, clinical studies are still needed to
support such beneficial claims.
SHARK CARTILAGE WARNINGS
(1) Children, (2) people who have had a recent heart attack, surgery or major operation, (3) women who are pregnant or
breast feeding (4) Body builders or athletes who are attempting to build large muscles should not use cartilage. New blood
vessel formation is critical for them.
SHARK CARTILAGE SIDE EFFECTS
Shark cartilage side effects - hypercalcemia
Shark cartilage pills or supplements are not perceived as medications and are presumed to be safe, who may however be
at risk for hypercalcemia. Lagman R and Walsh D. reported eight cases of hypercalcemia in cancer patients at Cleveland
Clinic Foundation in whom these shark cartilage supplements may have contributed to the prevalence or severity of
Shark cartilage side effects - heavy metal
Korean FDA pointed out that calcium supplements made of shark cartilage had the highest means of mercury and
cadmium. The mean daily intakes of mercury and cadmium from these shark cartilage supplement were estimated in the
range of 0.1-0.2 microg, however, which were still below the 0.4% of provisional tolerable daily intakes. 
This might not be a complete list about the product side effects. If you notice any side effects of the product, please
contact your doctor or the manufacturer immediately. You should be able to find the contact information from the product
label, and explain what side effect you have to the manufacturer. In the US you may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-
FDA-1088. In Canada - you may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
 Biol Pharm Bull. 2010;33(3):410-4.  Shark cartilage-containing preparation: protection against reactive oxygen
species, Felzenszwalb et al, Universidade do Estado do, Brazil, Food Chem Toxicol. 1998 Dec;36(12):1079-84. 
Troponin I peptide (Glu94-Leu123), a cartilage-derived angiogenesis inhibitor; in vitro and in vivo effects on human
endothelial cells and on pancreatic cancer. Kern et al, Harvard Medical School, USA, J Gastrointest Surg. 2003 Dec;7(8):
961-8; discussion 969. [ Modulation of CD(4)(+) and CD(8)(+) tumor infiltrating lymphocytes by a fraction isolated from
shark cartilage: shark cartilage modulates anti-tumor immunity. Feyzi et al, Tarbiat Modares University, Iran, Inti
Immunopharmacol. 2003 Jul;3(7):921-6.  Reference Purification and Functional Characterization of a Shark Cartilage
Factor Inhibitory to Angiogenesis, [5, 6]Shen et al, Naval Medical Research Institute, China, Sheng Wu Hua Xue Yu Sheng
Wu Wu Li Xue Bao (Shanghai). 2000;32(1):43-48.] Similar Research-  SCAIF80, a Novel Inhibitor of Angiogenesis, and
Its Effect on Tumor Growth. Shen et al, Fudan University, China, Sheng Wu Hua Xue Yu Sheng Wu Wu Li Xue Bao
(Shanghai). 2001;33(1):99-104. [Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of a water-soluble fraction from shark cartilage.
Fontenele JB et al, Universidade do Estado do, Brazil, Braz J Med Biol Res. 1996 May;29(5):643-6.  Antiangiogenic
properties of a novel shark cartilage extract: potential role in the treatment of psoriasis. Dupont et al, Les Laboratoires
Aeterna, Canada, J. Cutan Med Surg. 1998 Jan:2(3):146-52;  AE-941, a multifunctional antiangiogenic compound: trials
in renal cell carcinoma. Bukowshi RM, The Cleveland Clinic Raussig Cancer Center, USA, Expert Opin Investig Drugs:
2003 Aug;12(8):1403-11.  The antiangiogenic agent Neovastat (AE-941) induces endothelial cell apoptosis.Boivin D et
al, Loboratoire de medecine moleculaire, Hopital Ste-Justine-Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Canada, Mol Cancer Ther.
2002Aug;1(10):795-802.  Dangerous nutrition? Calcium, vitamin D, and shark cartilage nutritional supplements and
cancer-related hypercalcemia. Support Care Cancer. 2003 Apr;11(4):232-5.Epub 2003 Jan 15.  Mercury, cadmium
and arsenic contents of calcium dietary supplements. Food Addit Contam. 2004 Aug;21(8):763-7.  Chuan-Ying Y, Lei
Z. Effects of shark cartilage polysaccharides on the secretion of IL-6 and IL-12 in rheumatoid arthritis. Pharm Biol. 2012
Dec;50(12):1567-72.  Patra D, Sandell LJ. Antiangiogenic and anticancer molecules in cartilage. Expert Rev Mol Med.
2012 Jan 19;14:e10.