Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Shark Cartilage

  • Aditya Bardia
  • Charles L. Loprinzi
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_5283-3


A dietary supplement derived from cartilage obtained from sharks, commonly hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) and dogfish (Squalus acanthias) sharks.


Shark cartilage is a popular dietary supplement that traditionally has been proclaimed to be able to prevent and/or treat established cancer. In the early part of the twenty-first century, it has been one of the ten most common dietary supplements used among cancer patients. It has been suggested that the widespread popularity of this product has partly contributed to an increase in shark fishing, with a resultant sharp, ≥75 %, decline in the world shark population in the past 15 years.

Shark cartilage is available as a capsule (taken orally), powder (for oral use when mixed with juice or as an enema), and also as an intravenous preparation. The recommended doses can vary from 500 mg to several grams per day. The adverse effects are predominantly gastrointestinal, such as nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, and even...


Dietary Supplement Endothelial Cell Apoptosis Cancer Clinical Trial Shark Cartilage Shark Population 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Attending Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer CenterAssistant Professor, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of OncologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA