Cartilage supplements come from cows (bovine cartilage) or sharks (shark cartilage). Human cartilage is found in the body’s joints, nose, ears, and knees. Cartilage is a connective tissue that coats joints allowing for friction-free movement. It also creates the shape of the ear and nose.
At one time, cartilage was used to treat malignant tumors (eg, cancer of the lung, skin, breast). The protein in shark cartilage is thought to prevent growth of new blood vessels necessary for tumor growth. Studies have shown that shark cartilage has no impact on tumor progression, and many patients had adverse side effects from using it.
Cartilage may help treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, ulcerative colitis, pain and inflammation. It may also treat psoriasis, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.
Sources of Cartilage
Cartilage may be purchased in capsule or powdered form. Read labeling carefully to insure the product is 100% pure shark cartilage. The product should be white in color. If not, it is not pure and should not be ingested.
As a dietary supplement 3,000 to 4,750-mg can be taken daily. Cartilage can also be administered by enema.
Guidelines and Cautions
Do not give cartilage to children, pregnant women, or anyone who has recently undergone surgery or survived a heart attack. Although there are no known cartilage/medication interactions, consult with a medical professional prior to taking this product.
Include magnesium and potassium for mineral balance if taking large amounts of shark cartilage.
Disclaimer: Many people report feeling improvement in their condition and/or general well-being taking dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements. The Editorial Board of SpineUniverse.com, however, cannot endorse such products since most lack peer-reviewed scientific validation of their claims. In most cases an appropriate diet and a "multiple vitamin" will provide the necessary dietary supplements for most individuals. Prior to taking additional dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements it is recommended that patients consult with their personal physician to discuss their specific supplement requirements.