Alkylglycerols are naturally found in much lower levels in the bone marrow, liver, spleen, and breast milk of mature cows as well as in humans. Much of the medical interest in shark liver oil--as a potential complement to standard cancer treatments and as a natural immune booster--has focused on these promising compounds.
Shark liver oil also contains squalamine, a substance which in animal studies has shown some ability to fight cancers of the breast, lung, brain, and skin (melanoma specifically) by choking off the tumor's blood supply; studies in people are under way. Shark liver oil capsules sometimes also contain generous amounts of squalene, an antioxidant and bacteria-fighter. Also present are omega-3 fatty acids (the heart-healthy oils found in other deep-water fish) and vitamin A.
There are several books about the health benefits of shark liver oil, all of which basically extol the virtues of the product. Even though these books are written by M.D.s and Ph.D.s, in actual fact, most of the information is based on either patients relating their successes or limited lab animal studies. This does not mean the product has no value, but rather that based on clinical trials in humans, there?s little hard evidence about the effectiveness of shark liver oil for any condition. As such, there are no formally established dosages for shark liver oil, and the WholeHealth MD recommendations below follow guidelines set forth in these books.
Note: Shark liver oil is distinct
from another popular supplement that comes from the
same fish: shark cartilage. This purported cancer fighter
was popularized several years ago in the best-selling
book Sharks Don't Get Cancer. Results from studies on
shark cartilage and cancer have been mixed and are ongoing.
Shark liver oil, however, contains potentially therapeutic
substances different than those found in the cartilage.