- What other names is Shark Cartilage known by?
- What is Shark Cartilage?
- How does Shark Cartilage work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Shark Cartilage.
Shark cartilage is most famously used for cancer, including a type of cancer called Kaposi's sarcoma, that is more common in people with HIV infection. Shark cartilage is also used for arthritis, psoriasis, wound healing, damage to the retina of the eye due to diabetes, and inflammation of the intestine (enteritis).
Some people apply shark cartilage directly to the skin for arthritis and psoriasis.
Likely Ineffective for...
- Cancer. Most research shows that taking shark cartilage by mouth does not benefit people with advanced, previously treated cancers of the breast, colon, lung, prostate, and brain or advanced, previously treated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Studies of shark cartilage in people with less advanced cancer have not been published.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Age-related vision loss (age-related macular-degeneration). Early research suggests that taking a specific shark cartilage extract (AE-941, Neovastat) for 24 weeks might improve or stabilize vision in people with age-related vision loss.
- Cancerous tumor called Kaposi sarcoma. There are reports that shark cartilage might decrease tumors called Kaposi sarcoma.
- Osteoarthritis. When applied to the skin, products containing shark cartilage in combination with chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine sulfate, and camphor reportedly reduce arthritis symptoms. However, any symptom relief is most likely due to the effect of camphor and not the other ingredients. Additionally, there is no research showing that shark cartilage is absorbed through the skin.
- Psoriasis. Developing research suggests that a specific shark cartilage extract (AE-941, Neovastat) might improve appearance and decrease itching of plaque psoriasis when taken by mouth or applied to the skin.
- Kidney cancer. Taking a specific shark cartilage extract (AE-941, Neovastat) by mouth seems to increase survival in patients with advanced kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma). This product has FDA "Orphan Drug status" for renal cell carcinoma. The Orphan Drug law gives drug makers special incentives to study drugs for rare conditions.
- Eye complications.
- Wound healing.
- Other conditions.
It can cause a bad taste in the mouth, nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, constipation, low blood pressure, dizziness, high blood sugar, high calcium levels, and fatigue. Some products have an unpleasant odor and taste.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking shark cartilage if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
High calcium levels (hypercalcemia): Shark cartilage might increase calcium levels, so it should not be used by people whose calcium levels are already too high.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Shark cartilage might increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, shark cartilage might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.
Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
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