Shark cartilage is obtained from three species of shark found in the Pacific Ocean. The cartilage is cut, cleaned, crushed and then dried. The dried crushed cartilage is then reduced to a fine powder, sterilized and encapsulated. Some have attributed anticancer properties to this product. It was thought that shark cartilage could inhibit the growth of new vessels required to nourish a growing tumor. However, recent studies have shown that it is not effective in the treatment of advanced cancer. Up to now, the results from investigations in humans have been quite disappointing.
Shark cartilage is made up of about 40% proteins, 5-20% glycoaminoglycans as well as calcium salts.
Doses vary greatly: from 500 to 4500 mg per day. It is usually administered with food, in 2 to 6 divided doses.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.