Written by Edzard Ernst and the CAM-Cancer Consortium.
Updated February 28, 2017

Shark cartilage

Is shark cartilage safe?


Pregnancy, lactation.


Liver diseases.

Adverse effects

Orally, shark cartilage can cause taste disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, constipation, hypotension, dizziness, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, hypercalcemia, altered consciousness, decreased motor strength, decreased sensation, erythema, peripheral edema, generalized weakness, fatigue, and decreased performance.1,24,28,30 It might also cause signs of acute hepatitis, including low-grade fever, jaundice, yellowing of eyes, right upper quadrant tenderness, and elevated liver enzymes.33-34


Interactions with the following drugs are conceivable: diuretics, insulin, interferon, thalidomide.

Quality issues

Large variations exist in the purity and concentration of commercially available preparations.

Citation Edzard Ernst, CAM-Cancer Consortium. Shark cartilage [online document]. http://ws.cam-cancer.org/The-Summaries/Dietary-approaches/Shark-cartilage. February 28, 2017.


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