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Shark cartilage is a dietary supplement produced from the dried and powdered cartilage of a shark. Cartilage is a flexible connective tissue found in many areas in the bodies of humans and other animals. Sharks' skeletons are made up almost entirely of cartilage and this is used to create powder or pills. The actual health benefits of shark cartilage supplement have not been scientifically proven. However, many people all around the world use shark cartilage supplements as they are believed to treat various diseases.

Composition of shark cartilage

Plain laboratory analysis shows that unadulterated dry shark cartilage powder is approximately 41 % ash, 39 % protein, 12 % carbohydrates, 7 % water, less than 1 % fiber and less than 0.3 % fat. The ash is 60 % calcium and phosphorus at a ratio of two parts calcium to one part phosphorus. The major compounds found in shark cartilage are proteoglycans and glycoproteins . These are large molecules with protein and carbohydrate components. Protein and calcium salts are also present in the shark cartilage. More than 40% of shark cartilage is composed of pure collagen and essential amino fatty acids. Glycosaminoglycans, found in shark cartilage are considered beneficial for production of joint cartilage components and replacement of joint fluid lubricants. Mucopolysaccharides, also present in shark cartilage, are known as immune-boosters and potent anti-inflammatory agent.

Benefits of shark cartilage supplement

Because of this specific mix of compounds, shark cartilage is promoted mainly as an substitute to conventional cancer treatment. It is considered that shark cartilage obstructs the growth of new blood cells that raise and promote growth of cancer cells. Cancers that depend on a system of blood vessels are considered more susceptible to shark cartilage effects. These cancers are breast, ovarian, cervical, pancreatic or prostate cancers.

Shark cartilage also helps to ease inflammation and pain in the joints; it reduces strong pain and helps n joint dysfunction. Moreover, some doctors are treating inflammation of the bowel exclusively with shark cartilage health products.

Shark cartilage is also beneficial in the treatment of arthritis, as it inhibits the growth of blood vessels. This may significantly ease the pain and destruction of the joints. Patients with arthritis usually consume oral or intravenous dosages of shark cartilage.

It is also believed that shark cartilage helps in psoriasis. Psoriasis is a condition of abnormal skin thickening and shedding. This condition is also associated with dilation of capillaries. Cartilage, as already mentioned, contains factors to inhibit blood vessel formation and have a beneficial effect in psoriasis.

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