William T. Jarvis, Ph.D.
Sun Feb 6, 2005 15:51


Some researchers believe that shark liver oil derived from deep-water sharks may prove useful in fighting cancer and boosting the immune system. Today, shark liver oil is extracted from sharks that caught off the coasts of Greenland, Norway, and a few other northern European countries.

It is important to know that shark live oil is substantially different from shark cartilage supplements even though both come from the same fish. Shark liver oil, contains potentially therapeutic substances unlike those found in the cartilage.

Shark Liver Oil Medicinal Indications and Applications

Historically, shark liver oil has been used by the culture of northern Europe as folk remedy for treating wounds and the flu. Shark liver oil contains a number of substances including alkylglycerol and squalmine, both of which are believed to possess medical properties. Much of the interest in shark liver oil stems from its alkylglycerol content which is believed to act as a potential complement to traditional cancer trainings and as an immune boosting agent. In animal studies, squalamine, has been shown to fight cancers of the lung, breast brain, and skin by choking off the tumor's blood supply. Also found in high concentrations in shark liver oil are omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A.

Shark liver oil has been used in lip balms to moisturize and prevent chapping, and claims have been made that it may even help heal canker sores. However, evidence is weak that shark liver oil can cure serious any serious diseases, such as AIDS, arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia or psoriasis.

Most meaningful studies have focused on the possible benefit of shark liver oil in fighting cancer and infections. Unfortunately, most studies to date have been inconclusive. However some researchers contend that shark liver oil shows real promise and more rigorous human studies are under way.

Dosage Information

As a complement for cancer treatments take 1 to 2 capsules (providing 100 mg alkylglycerols) 3 times per day with meals. For fighting infections take 1 to 2 capsules a day with meals, for one week. Do not exceed manufacturer's recommended dosage.
Shark Liver Oil
William T. Jarvis, Ph.D.

Shark liver oil (aka, "squalene" when used topically) has been used as a folk medicine to aid in wound healing by Norwegian fisherman for many years. In the 1950s, researcher and physician Astrid Brohult used shark liver oil in her work at a children's hospital in Sweden. She believed that shark liver oil increased the number of white cells for patients being treated by radiation, had an inhibitory effect on the growth of tumor cells, and reduced radiation injuries. Although her claims were unconfirmed by independent research, Brohult arranged to have a Swedish company, Halsoprodukter (Health Products), produce a shark liver oil preparation under the name Ecomer. The National Swedish Board of Health and Welfare permitted Ecomer to be marketed as a "natural product" for a time. The primary customers for Ecomer were naturopaths and "health food" fanciers.

Between October, 1986 and November, 1988, the Swedish Department of Drugs received six reports on suspected adverse reactions to Ecomer. A notice about these reports was published in the Department's information bulletin. As a consequence of the posting, further reports were received. These totalled 34 by the end of 1989. The reports mainly described changes in blood status, blood coagulation disorders, skin and liver reactions. An analysis of the reports by the Swedish Adverse Drug Reactions Committee concluded that many of the patients involved had concomitant diseases and other therapies that could have been the cause of the adverse reactions, but that it could not be ruled out that Ecomer may have induced idiosyncratic hypersensitivity reactions in the organs involved. This finding disqualified Ecomer as a "naturopathic drug" (i.e., it could no longer be presumed to be safe), and the manufacturer was asked to withdraw Ecomer from the market.
NCAHF Advises

Although following this action shark liver oil went of the radar screen, so to speak, occasionally it surfaces in the cancer underground. Like vampires, once popular cancer remedies rise again and again. People with serious diseases should use such products with extreme caution, being ever-alert to adverse effects and skeptical of claims that adverse effects are positive signs that the substance is working (e.g., "the poisons are coming out"). It is wise not to use potentially hazardous substances such as shark liver oil and to avoid exposing oneself to psychological manipulation by the purveyors of dubious remedies.
Resource Documents

* Sheehan D. "Healer from the sea," Alive, (undated).
* Ecomer product information (undated).
* Letter, dated February 22, 1990, from Jerzy Einhorn, MD, PhD, Head of the Department of Oncology (Radiumhemmet [English: Radium House]), Director of the Stockholm-Gotland Cancer Center.
* Letter, dated March 26, 1990, from Inger Nasman, Pharmaceutical Officer, Socialstyrelsen, The National Board of Health and Welfare, Department of Drugs, Registration Division. Uppsala, Sweden.

Copyright Notice

1997, National Council Against Health Fraud.
With proper citation, this article may be reproduced for noncommercial purposes


Omega-3+ Shark Liver Oil. ... Value: Seagate Shark Liver Oil contains more than three times the omega-3 fatty acid concentration of some competing brands. ...


Many people think sharks are virtually blind, but have sensitive
hearing and sonar capabilities to detect prey.


Sometimes sharks are referred to as swimming computers because of the six senses which they possess: vision, hearing, vibration, smell, taste and electro-perception.



Lesson Plan: Sharks

This lesson will focus on sharks. Our first objective will be to get our students on-line! Break the class up into groups of five. Each group will have to investigate sharks. They will have to find out the answers to the following questions:

1. Where do sharks live?
2. How many types of sharks are there?
3. How do sharks breathe?
4. How do sharks swim?
5. What do sharks eat?
6. How big do sharks get?

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