The Natural Food Science Blog

Is Shark cartilage anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer?

Shark cartilage is one of the staples among nutraceuticals, on the shelves of health food stores for quite a few years now. It is touted for its anti-inflammatory benefits in treating arthritis and other inflammatory conditions and especially, cancer.

The use of powdered cartilage to treat wounds was originally popularized by John Prudden, a surgeon from New York, in 1954. Prudden used powdered cartilage from cows, finding it effective in the acceleration of wound healing, the treatment of arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and even advanced cancer.

Cartilage from sharks was popularized by the 1992 bestseller by William Lane and Linda Comac: “Sharks don’t get cancer”, followed by “Sharks still don’t get cancer” in 1996. The point of the claim was to imply that there is something unique about cartilage from an animal—like a shark—whose skeleton is entirely made of cartilage—not bone, and that there are curative powers which can only come from that type of animal. Of course, convincing millions of people that only shark cartilage will do is not particularly healthy for shark populations around the world, and shark populations have indeed suffered, as the commercial market for shark cartilage has skyrocketed.  READ it HERE

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