Pregnancy Use

Although not scientifically investigated in this population, it is not recommended in pregnancy based on theoretical considerations.

PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING

• Shark cartilage is mainly composed of calcium, phosphorus, water, collagen and proteoglycans, chiefly chondroitin sulfates.

• Anti-angiogenic, antineoplastic, immunostimulant and broad-spectrum antibiotic activities have been reported in preliminary studies.

• Both analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities have been reported for shark cartilage preparations in animal studies, most likely due to its chondroitin content. As a result, it is used to relieve symptoms in arthritic conditions.

• It is a popular supplement among cancer patients; however, the few clinical trials conducted so far with people with advanced cancers have generally produced negative results, suggesting no benefit.

• Its use Is contralndlcated In people with seafood allergy, and In pregnancy. Do not use 3 weeks before and 6 weeks after surgery, or In children or teenagers still experiencing growth.

ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What will this supplement do for me?

Shark cartilage has a number of different actions, such as anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, anti-tumour and pain-relieving effects. However, these have not been confirmed in controlled human studies. As a result, it is difficult to determine what effects will be experienced. When will it start to work? Due to the lack of human research, this is unknown. Are there any safety issues?

Shark cartilage products are not to be used in people with seafood allergy or in pregnancy. They should not be used by children or teenagers still experiencing growth or 3 weeks before and for 6 weeks after surgery.

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