Shark Liver Oil

What other names is Shark Liver Oil known by?

Aceite de Hígado de Tiburón, Basking Shark Liver Oil, Cetorhinus maximus, Centroporus squamosus, Deep Sea Shark Liver Oil, Dog Fish Liver Oil, Foie de Requin, Huile de Foie d'Aiguillat, Huile de Foie de Requin, Huile de Foie de Requin de Grands Fonds, Huile de Foie de Requin Pèlerin, Huile de Requin, Shark Liver, Shark Oil, Squalene, Sqaulus acanthias.

What is Shark Liver Oil?

Shark liver oil is used to make medicine. It is taken from the livers of three species of shark: the deep sea shark (Centrophorus squamosus), the dogfish (Sqaulus acanthias), and the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus). The liver makes up about 25% of the total shark body weight of these sharks.

Shark liver oil is used along with usual cancer drugs to treat leukemia and other cancers; to prevent radiation illness from cancer X-ray therapy; to prevent the common cold, flu, and swine flu; and to boost the body's immune system. It is also used for increasing white cell counts during treatment with anti-cancer drugs (chemotherapy). White cells are important in fighting off infection, but many are killed by chemotherapy.

People apply shark liver oil directly to the skin for skin conditions including skin cancer.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Leukemia and other cancers.
  • Side effects of cancer treatment including radiation illness and lowered white cell count.
  • Common cold.
  • Flu.
  • Skin problems.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of shark liver oil for these uses.

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How does Shark Liver Oil work?

Shark liver oil contains chemicals that might have activity against cancer or cancer treatment related side effects.

Are there safety concerns?

There isn't enough information available to know if shark liver oil is safe. It can cause pneumonia in people who accidentally breathe it into the lungs.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of shark liver oil during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Dosing considerations for Shark Liver Oil.

The appropriate dose of shark liver oil depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for shark liver oil. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011