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shark cartilage (generic name)

an herbal product - treats Macular degeneration, Psoriasis, Arthritis, Pain, and Cancer
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Interactions with Drugs

Shark cartilage products may contain high doses of calcium and may cause dangerously high blood calcium levels when taken with drugs known to increase blood calcium. Examples include long-term use of thiazide diuretics such as chlorothiazide (Diuril®) and antacids such as Tums®. In theory, shark cartilage may add to the effects of drugs and experimental agents that block new blood vessel growth. Based on one animal study, the cancer drug cisplatin and shark cartilage may act together against tumors, although there is a lack of reliable human supportive evidence.

Limited evidence suggests that shark cartilage may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare provider. Medication adjustments may be necessary.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Shark cartilage products may contain high doses of calcium and may cause dangerously high calcium levels in the blood when taken with calcium supplements or antacids. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine may have additive effects when taken with shark cartilage.

Limited evidence suggests that shark cartilage may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.

Trace elements that are found in shark cartilage in higher amounts than those in other fish or animal bones include iron, zinc, selenium, manganese, copper, molybdenum, titanium, and strontium.


This information is based on a professional level monograph edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ( Ernie-Paul Barrette, MD (Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine); Ethan Basch, MD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center); Samuel Basch, MD (Mt. Sinai Medical Center, NY); Steve Bent, MD (University of California, San Francisco); Heather Boon, BScPhm, PhD (University of Toronto); Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Paul Hammerness, MD (Harvard Medical School); Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Michael Smith, MRPharmS, ND (Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine); David Sollars MAc, HMC (New England School of Acupuncture); Philippe Szapary, MD (University of Pennsylvania); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Candy Tsourounis, Pharm D (University of California, San Francisco); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).


DISCLAIMER: Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to Selected references are listed below.

Batist G, Patenaude F, Champagne P, et al. Neovastat (AE-941) in refractory renal cell carcinoma patients: report of a phase II trial with two dose levels. Ann Oncol 2002;13(8):1259-1263.

Escudier B, Choueiri TK, Oudard S, et al. Prognostic factors of metastatic renal cell carcinoma after failure of immunotherapy: new paradigm from a large phase III trial with shark cartilage extract AE 941. J Urol 2007 Nov;178(5):1901-5.

Dupont E, Savard RE, Jourdain C, et al. Antiangiogenic properties of a novel shark cartilage extract: potential role in the treatment of psoriasis. J Cutan Med Surg 1998;2(3):146-152.

Gingras D, Boivin D, Deckers,C, et al. Neovastat-a novel antiangiogenic drug for cancer therapy. Anticancer Drugs 2003;14(2):91-96.

Hassan ZM, Feyzi R, Sheikhian A, et al. Low molecular weight fraction of shark cartilage can modulate immune responses and abolish angiogenesis. Int Immunopharmacol 2005;5(6):961-970.

Hikino M, Mikami T, Faissner A, et al. Nationwide survey on complementary and alternative medicine in cancer patients in Japan. J Clin Oncol 4-20-2005;23(12):2645-2654.

Kralovec JA, Guan Y, Metera K, et al. Immunomodulating principles from shark cartilage. Part 1. Isolation and biological assessment in vitro. Int Immunopharmacol 2003;3(5):657-669.

Lagman R, Walsh D. Dangerous nutrition? Calcium, vitamin D, and shark cartilage nutritional supplements and cancer-related hypercalcemia. Support Care Cancer 2003;11(4):232-235.

Leitner SP, Rothkopf MM, Haverstick DD, et al. Two phase II studies of oral dry shark cartilage powder (SCP) in patients with either metastatic breast or prostate cancer refractory to standard treatment. Amer Soc Clin Oncol 1998;17:A240.

Miller DR, Anderson GT, Stark JJ, et al. Phase I/II trial of the safety and efficacy of shark cartilage in the treatment of advanced cancer. J Clin Oncol 1998;16(11):3649-3655.

Ortega HG, Kreiss K, Schill DP, et al. Fatal asthma from powdering shark cartilage and review of fatal occupational asthma literature. Am J Ind Med 2002;42(1):50-54.

Riviere M, Falardeau P, Latreille J, et al. Phase I/II lung cancer clinical trial results with AE-941 (Neovastat®) an inhibitor of angiogenesis. Clin Invest Med (supplement) 1998;S14.

Riviere M, Latreille J, Falardeau P. AE-941 (Neovastat), an inhibitor of angiogenesis: phase I/II cancer clinical trial results. Cancer Invest 1999;17(suppl 1):16-17.

Roudebush P, Davenport DJ, Novotny BJ. The use of nutraceuticals in cancer therapy. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 2004;34(1):249-69, viii.

Volpi N. Oral absorption and bioavailability of ichthyic origin chondroitin sulfate in healthy male volunteers. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2003;11(6):433-441.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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