Unlike bony fish, sharks do not have a swim bladder to help them float through the water. On the contrary, they have a liver with very light oils and fats that sustain them. This is well known to the fishing villages of Northern Europe and Japan, who have been using these oils for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes.
However, it was in the 20th century that shark liver oil was extensively researched by the scientific community and studies spilled over into the beauty industry.
What is shark oil for?
Shark liver oil has several chemical compounds that are very beneficial for health: vitamins A and D, omega 3 fatty acids, etc. But, in addition, there are two particular substances that they discovered when investigating the chemical composition of these fats and that are especially relevant:
- Squalene is not only found in nature, but our body can produce it. However, it gets this name because it was discovered when studying shark liver oil.
- On the other hand, alkylglycerols are also present in nature and even in breast milk, only in shark liver there is a higher concentration (they represent almost 18% of the oil).
Apparently, it is thanks to these two compounds that shark oil has useful therapeutic properties in different types of diseases. Although research is still underway, let's see what the most common uses are.
Shark liver oil for cancer
In 2010, research stated that squalene is a powerful antioxidant with high antitumor activity in skin, colon, and lung cancers. This conclusion was reached because, interestingly, sharks are animals that seem to be protected against cancer, something that experts believe may be due to alkylglycerols.
These compounds have the amazing ability to allow drugs to access the central nervous system much more easily, in addition to contributing to the immune system.
Some scientists also claim that alkylglycerols reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, supposedly due to their ability to protect cell membranes.
Shark liver oil for the immune system
Due to its supposed stimulating effects on the immune system, when we talk about the benefits of shark oil we must also include that many experts who have spoken of the benefits of alkylglycerols to alleviate colds, flu, chronic infections, asthma, psoriasis and even arthritis.
Shark liver oil for cardiovascular health
Like all fish oil, shark liver oil is useful for protecting heart and vascular health. We can affirm this thanks to a Japanese study that, in 2015, concluded that adequate consumption of these fats can improve the elasticity of the central artery and peripheral microvascular function.
Shark liver oil for fertility
Shark liver oil contains high levels of vitamin A, which influences women's cervical fluid by helping sperm travel to the egg, and vitamin D, which promotes estrogen production.
However, beyond these data, it is unknown how this product can help increase fertility and there are no studies that 100% guarantee its operation. For this reason, at we recommend that you visit this article on How to increase female fertility.
Shark liver oil for skin and hair
Squalene has the ability to reduce the impact of free radical oxidation on the skin and protect it from damage caused by ultraviolet rays. It is a very useful product for people with atopic dermatitis, mainly because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties . But in addition, shark liver oil has also been shown to be excellent for quickly repairing dry and dull hair. If you want to know in more detail which are the best oils for the skin , be sure to visit this article.
Although it is true that there are companies that add shark liver oil to their products, there is currently a tendency to reduce its use and increase that of vegetable oils.
The purpose is important: sharks must be protected from indiscriminate hunting , as they are species that take a long time to mature and reproduce and could face a serious risk of extinction.
Shark liver oil for children
Some proponents of the oil argue that shark liver oil is as beneficial for children as cod liver oil. There is evidence that fish oil contributes to brain health and the growth of children , which is why many specialists defend the inclusion of this type of oil in the diet of the little ones. For more information, we propose an article on Fish Oil: what it is for and benefits that will explain everything you need to know about it.
However, no product should be given to children under 12 years of age without consulting a pediatrician.
How shark oil is taken
Now that you know the properties of shark oil and its benefits, you should know how this product is taken. And it is that at present, shark liver oil is distributed in bottles that contain soft capsules . It is necessary to clarify that there is no standard dose, as it will depend on the age and constitution of each person, as well as the problem to be treated.
However, the following information can serve as a guide:
- Children under 12 years of age : from 6 months of age fish begins to be introduced into the children's diet. Therefore, this product can be useful in cases where babies do not consume this food regularly. Of course, before giving the child this product, it is essential to go to the pediatrician and consult with him about the possible introduction of this supplement.
- People over 12 years old : in this case, the manufacturers indicate one to three capsules daily.
Shark oil contraindications
To avoid side effects of shark oil , at we recommend that people who suffer from the following pathologies avoid its consumption:
- liver diseases
- Kidney conditions and stones
- Excess in the body of vitamin D, calcium and phosphate
- Atherosclerosis obliterans