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Shark cartilage: properties and contraindications

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The shark is one of the most feared fish in the ocean. However, it is increasingly used in the kitchen as food, not only for meat but also for fins. Shark cartilage, meanwhile, has long been used not only as food but also in natural alternative medicine. It has many properties, but the best-known benefit is regenerating cartilage and improving joints. It has also been used as a complementary cancer treatment. It is extracted from the head and fins of sharks and can currently be found in herbalists or nutrition stores. However, although it has many properties, it also has side effects and some contraindications that must be considered as the environmental problems caused by the indiscriminate poaching of sharks. Shark cartilage: properties and contraindications.

Shark cartilage properties

Shark cartilage contains collagen and chondroitin sulfate, two substances that help regenerate cartilage. It is also rich in calcium and phosphorus. Many athletes take it to avoid wear and tear on the joints.

But it also has other properties such as:


Shark cartilage is a potent natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever and helps with muscle aches.

Reduce angiogenesis

Angiogenesis is a natural process of blood vessel formation. However, it also helps in the malignant transformation of tumor growth. Shark cartilage contains squalamine lactate AE-941 and U-995, which are used to inhibit angiogenesis and thus prevent tumor formation.

Good for the bones

Bones are made of calcium and, in turn, contain collagen. Shark cartilage contains these two components, so when eating it, both are ingested at the same time, which is very beneficial for the bones. Therefore, it is perfect for people who have osteoporosis.

Joints, arthritis, and osteoarthritis

Chondroitin sulfate is a substance found in the ligaments and tendons of muscles and cartilage. It provides muscular resistance and flexibility to the tissues and elasticity to the joints, which makes them more functional and better withstand pressure and blows. For its part, collagen is an essential protein for body tissues and improves the regeneration of muscle and bone fibers.

Shark cartilage contains both substances. In addition, it has proteins, calcium, and glycosaminoglycans, which act on the joints and protect them from deterioration. In addition, chondroitin sulfate helps in the pain of conditions such as arthritis or osteoarthritis.

Muscle treatment

Shark cartilage reduces muscle stiffness and relieves muscle tears by strengthening joints and preventing injury.

Avoid wrinkles

Its collagen content is good for the joints and the skin, preventing the formation of wrinkles and providing elasticity. For this, the application must be cutaneous.

Possible side effects

Although it has many beneficial properties for both the body and the skin, shark collagen also has side effects such as the following:

  • It can cause nausea or even vomiting
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Digestive problems like stomach cramps or constipation
  • Swelling
  • Drop-in blood pressure can lead to dizziness or fainting
  • Skin rashes
  • It can cause a rise in blood glucose
  • Raise calcium which can be good but also a side effect if you have kidney stones
  • Can cause fatigue
  • If you have a shellfish allergy, it is better not to take it as it could cause a reaction


Shark cartilage is contraindicated in pregnant women since it is not beneficial for the fetus. Children should not take it either because it could affect their development, therefore during pregnancy. Also, it increases blood glucose, which is not suitable during pregnancy. Consequently, it is also contraindicated in people who have diabetes.

Nor should shark cartilage be consumed after surgery, as it could cause infections due to low white blood cells.

As we have seen, it has large amounts of calcium, and therefore people with imbalances of this mineral should not take it as it can increase its levels significantly and not be good.

How to take shark cartilage

Although taken in complementary natural medicine, Shark cartilage is not a medicine, so there is no specific dose. However, its use in conventional therapy began in China. Currently, there is a Japanese Cartilage Association, which has stipulated, together with some doctors, that the appropriate dose is about 7.5 grams per day.

This is not strictly as it also depends on the person’s conditions. It is best to always go to the specialist before taking it and follow the instructions. It will also depend on the objective you want to achieve.

In China, where its use began, it is more common to find it as such; however, in Spain and Europe, it is more common to acquire it in pills. The usual thing is to take three pills a day coinciding with the main meals, and in this way, you help the body avoid infections, and it is a good dose for the improvement of the joints. Always take it an hour or half an hour, at least, before meals for it to take effect.

You can also use them in some dishes, but conveniently if it is cold food, such as with salads or yogurt. It is not recommended to use it with hot foods as it could lose properties.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

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