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“The Risks of Shark Cartilage Supplements” An assessment of websites on
complementary and alternative medicine for cancer found that many
endorse unproven therapies and some that are outright dangerous, potentially exploiting highly
vulnerable patients and enriching irresponsible
snake oil peddlers, or for that matter, shark
cartilage peddlers, accounting for millions of
dollars of sales every year. Why shark cartilage of all things? Interest in shark cartilage
as an anticancer agent arose because many people believe
that sharks did not get cancer. Why would they think such a thing? Because some shark cartilage supplement
hawker wrote a book called, “Sharks Don’t Get Cancer.” But that’s simply not true. Sharks do get cancer. Both benign and cancerous lesions have
been reported in 21 species of sharks more than 9 families. For example, this oral tumor spilling
out of the mouth of a great white. Now some shark cartilage distributors insist
instead that sharks just rarely get cancer, but actual cancer rates in sharks
have never been determined. There’s simply been no
systematic tumor surveys of sharks for them to make such a claim. But look, even if sharks were
less susceptible to cancer, how can one logically jump from that
to cancer patients benefiting from eating powdered
cartilage from a shark? We know, for example, that there
are certain proteins that allow some bacteria to survive in
like boiling hot springs. Uh, does that mean if we eat those bacteria
we can survive boiling water, too? It doesn’t make any sense. The illogic behind the pursuit of shark
cartilage therapies has implications beyond the reduction of shark populations and the misdirection of patients
to ineffective cancer therapies. The stuff may be harmful,
and I’m not just talking about the rare case of shark
cartilage-induced liver inflammation. Shark products can contain the neurotoxin
BMAA, which I’ve talked about before. It’s been detected at elevated levels in the brains of Alzheimer’s
disease and ALS patients, and may play a role in the development
of neurodegenerative disease. So like the consumption
of shark fin soup or something may pose a significant health risk, but what about shark cartilage supplements? They tested sixteen commercial shark
cartilage supplements, right off the shelves, and found BMAA in fifteen out of sixteen. But look, even if shark cartilage supplements
carry pro-inflammatory properties, which could pose a potential health risk
for consumers, we’re talking about cancer. There are chemotherapy agents that
are life-threateningly dangerous, but sometimes the benefits can outweigh
the risks when confronted with cancer. So the question then becomes: are
there any benefits to shark cartilage? I mean, it’s not a completely whacky idea. Cartilage, in general, is highly resistant
to invasion by tumor cells, so maybe there’s some cartilage-
derived anti-invasion factor? Less interesting alternative explanations
are that it’s just hard for the cancer to penetrate the cartilage, or perhaps
because of the poor blood supply in cartilage, cancer doesn’t consider
it particularly fertile ground. But maybe that lack of blood vessels
in cartilage can be exploited. The reason that no blood vessels
end up in cartilage is because cartilage cells produce
angiogenesis inhibitors, blood vessel creation inhibitors. And so maybe we can starve tumor growth
by infusing these cartilage factors. What scientists do is implant
tumors into the eyeballs of rabbits, so they can visualize how many blood
vessels the tumor is able to draw to itself. And indeed, shark cartilage contains
inhibitors of tumor angiogenesis. Such findings made the sales
of shark cartilage skyrocket, driving two shark species
to the brink of extinction. But cow cartilage does the same thing. Here, they used bovine cartilage. And so does human cartilage,
for that matter. So why sell shark cartilage? Well, it does sound so much more exotic, and sharks have like 10 times
more cartilage per animal. One 20-foot shark could net
like 50 pounds of cartilage. Just because cartilage has blood vessel
inhibiting chemicals in it, though, doesn’t mean if cancer patients
eat it, it will help them. It’s kind of like magical thinking: shark
cartilage stops blood vessel growth, thus, by consuming shark cartilage,
humans will somehow be protected. I mean, the shark cartilage protein
molecules would seem to be too large to be absorbed by the gut. It’s not like you’re injecting shark cartilage
into your bloodstream through an IV. But there was this rat study
that did find that just feeding shark cartilage to the animals, you could cut down on blood vessel
growth within their bodies. OK, but does that translate out to stopping
the growth and spread of cancer? Apparently not, as none of the
shark cartilage doses tested had any retarding effect on cancer
growth or spread in tumor-bearing mice, but just because it doesn’t work in rodents
doesn’t mean it doesn’t work in humans. To find that out you need
to put it to the test, evaluating shark cartilage in human
cancer patients, which we’ll cover next.

64 thoughts on “The Risks of Shark Cartilage Supplements

  1. Would you ever touch the subject of psychiatric drugs?
    Shoutout to Dr. Peter Breggin!
    I know your field of work is based around nutrition, I think that drug companies though play the same game the meat and dairy industry do.
    Cheers Dr Greger!!!

  2. An alternative doctor advised my mom to take a collagen supplement and there’s shark cartilage in it I believe. She had a bike accident and two big operations on her tibia and fibula. Do you believe this helps her tissue recovery process?

  3. I hadn’t heard of it’s use as cancer prevention only in that my mother was recommended by her doctor to take it for treatment in arthritis and swears by it as being one of a few different synergistic therapies enabling her to be pain free. It is one of our contentious issues that we disagree on as I am vegan and as she thinks I should start taking some. It would be interesting to know studies in relation to that aspect.

  4. Shark cartilage??, nonsense! I heard human testicles are much better against cancer when boiled and applied directly to the eyes at 80°C.

    You know… because of thermogenesis, bioavailability and stuff.

  5. If people get desperate enough you can sell them anything, but eating solely plants is just too extreme apparently…

  6. Another industrial waste product peddled to consumers like whey fish oil bone broth prolly others ……people can be sold anything !

  7. I feel that most people that follow this channel wouldn't believe in shark cartilage supplements… but I couldn't help but watch anyways!

  8. Can you do a video on California's Prop 65? Interesting article today about coffee and cancer, and I'm still wondering about eating nori seaweed, which all have prop 65 warnings. Thanks!

  9. A long time ago they told me to take shark cartilage and fish oil for my psoriasis and it would go away and it didn't seem to help at all.

  10. One way to kill cancer is a ketogenic diet to starve the cancer cells of glucose. The other thing that kills cancer is high dose vitamin C

  11. Spoiler alert: didn't help.

    Evaluation of shark cartilage in patients with advanced cancer

    RESULTS: Data on a total of 83 evaluable patients were analyzed. There was no difference in overall survival between patients receiving standard care plus a shark cartilage product versus standard care plus placebo. Likewise, there was no suggestion of improvement in quality of life for patients receiving the shark cartilage, compared with those receiving placebo.

  12. Humans love the quick fix "magic pill" but cannot see the forest through the trees. We need to stop killing other beings and eating their bodies to try and live healthier and longer.

  13. Why are people so stupid? [sigh] And I ask that as a firm believer in the validity of looking at non-allopathic protocols for better options. TFP, Doc.

  14. WTF is wrong with people? Humans are 100% biologically herbivores. The healthiest diet is a whole food plant based vegan diet composed of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes. These are the foods that everyone should be consuming solely especially the ill in order to lower the risk of illness and mortality overall the least.

  15. Yup, it's like if you want to get smart, eat the brains of some animal. If you want a longer you know what, eat a you know what from a horse, etc., etc.

  16. It's amazing how many people continue to buy and take something years after the scientists proved that it's neither safe or effective. The guy behind the ENZYTE penis enlargement supplement scam got 25 years in prison. Here on the boobtube people are still encouraging others to take apricot kernels for cancer even though that can cause cyanide poisoning. Now we have PREVAGEN which claims to help the brain/mind/memory that is advertised during the news even though the news has already run reports about how the Federal Trade Commission and the NY Attorney General's office is suing them for lying to the consumer. There ought to be a law! Why is the government so bad at going after these crooks early on before they get rich?

  17. actaullu i have taken alot of shark cartilage on 12 hour shifts at my work alone and it really does help you out…I didnt get tired and i felt more energy..

  18. I was diagnosed of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) 2013 in Parkland hospital, Dallas, i was given Rilutek (riluzole) to help my symptoms. In August 2014 my symptoms worsened, with no hope of a cure from my doctor and his medical team i looked out for an alternative treatment. I read on a website about Natural Herbal Gardens and their successful herbal treatment for ALS, i immediately contacted them via their website and purchased the ALS herbal remedy. I used the herbal remedy for 9 weeks, all my symptoms including difficulty walking, weakness in legs and arm, slurred speech etc miraculously disappeared, my speech is understandable now, its unbelievable, visit www. naturalherbalgardens. com. I had stopped working since i was diagnosed of ALS, i resumed working in 2016, I have control of my body ones again!

  19. My Wife was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) when she was 72 years old 4 years ago. The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help her. The medical team did even less. Her decline was rapid and devastating. Her arms weakened first, then her hands and legs. Last year, a family friend told us about Organic Herbal clinic and their successful ALS TREATMENT, we visited their website and ordered their ALS Formula, i am happy to report the treatment effectively treated and reversed her Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), most of the symptoms stopped, she is able to walk and eat well, sleep well and exercise regularly., she is pretty active now and her attitude is extremely positive.

  20. My mother was diagnosed with bulbar ALS in the summer of 2016;Her initial symptoms were quite noticeable. She first experienced weakness in her right arm and her speech and swallowing abilities were profoundly affected. She did little to seek help for this disease, as she had been her brother's caregiver a few years earlier for the same disease.
    She was able to get rid of the ideas with the help of herbal formula that cured my Parkinson disease ,this herbal treatment helped my entire family during our worst time in life.
    They exported worldwide and the herbal treatment will get to you in four days delivery to your address.

  21. My Wife was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) when she was 72 years old 4 years ago. The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help her. The medical team did even less. Her decline was rapid and devastating. Her arms weakened first, then her hands and legs. Last year, a family friend told us about Organic Herbal clinic and their successful ALS TREATMENT, we visited their website www. organicherbalclinic. com and ordered their ALS Formula, i am happy to report the treatment effectively treated and reversed her Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), most of the symptoms stopped, she is able to walk and eat well, sleep well and exercise regularly., she is pretty active now

  22. I had crippling osteoarthritis in all my joints in 1999. Doctors said operations would probably not help my situation. A friend suggested shark cartilage. I had already tried glucosamine, chondroitin and others with no positive effect. After 5 weeks of taking three capsules a day of the shark cartilage my symptoms were gone (full movement, no pain). I must maintain a small dose, about 1 capsule every other day, or the symptoms will return. Shark cartilage is made from the dog shark, a small, 2 foot long, more common species. For cancer look into 2 cancer clinics closed down by mainstream medicine which are/were extremely successful: Dr. Max Gerson had to move his clinic to Mexico from the U.S.. His clinic focused on improving the health of the immune system which is centered in the liver, gall bladder and pancreas. The other is Canadian nurse Rene Caisse who started a cancer clinic back in the 1930s in Canada but was forced to close (complaints by mainstream medicine) even though her cure rate was about 80%. Mainstream medicine has collected and spent billions of dollars over the last century looking for a cure to cancer, but cancer rates remain the same. The big city surgeon who removed my benign cancer back in 2008 swore the cancer would return, and put me on a regimen of 4 CT scans a year with Barium contrast die injections. The radiation exposure alone was equal to 1,000 chest X-rays (per scan) plus the ill effects of the barium would have eventually given me cancer. All so he could buy a Ferrari and another vacation home.

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