A by-product of the shark fishing industry, shark cartilage has been shown to slow or stop angiogenesis. Angiogeneis is the process of developing new blood vessels that deliver nutrients to cells necessary for the growth of tumours. Cartilage is said to have anti-angiogenic properties as it contains substances that inhibit angiogenesis.
What it does
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Abnormal capillary growth can occur and destroy joint cartilage. Shark cartilage has been shown to block the process of invasion by extra blood vessels and reduce the pain and stiffness associated with the disease.
- Osteoarthritis: This condition often starts with degeneration and thinning of cartilage, subsequent invasion of blood vessels then leads to the cartilage calcifying and breaking up. Reducing this extra blood vessel production can significantly decrease joint inflammation and pain.
- Psoriasis: Shark cartilage may be of benefit when used internally and externally in the treatment of psoriasis, a condition based on extra capillary production.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: In diabetic retinopathy, unwanted, abnormal blood vessels can grow on the back of the vitreous part of the eye, causing loss of sight. Initial research has suggested that shark cartilage may be of benefit.
There are concerns about the use of shark cartilage supplements due to the over-fishing of sharks, threatening the species.
Do not use during pregnancy or when attempting to conceive
Avoid for at least 6 weeks after deep surgery as wound healing is delayed – check with a doctor.
Anyone who has had a heart attack should avoid shark cartilage for at least 3 weeks – check with a doctor.