Shark cartilage dietary supplements carry dangers, however so do many most cancers therapies. The query is, do they work?
When it involves advertising and marketing unproven most cancers therapies, the “Internet has become the Wild West, so to speak. Fraudsters are really able to…get out there in ways they hadn’t before to take advantage of people.” “Cancer Patients Find Quackery on The Web,” bemoaned the National Cancer Institute, noting that there have been greater than 200,000 paperwork about most cancers on the Web. Wait. What? Only 200,000? When was that article printed? In 1996, just some years after the Web was born. Not to fret, mentioned the creator of Dr. Tom Linden’s Guide to Online Medicine. “It takes a lot of time and money to maintain a Web page.” So, “the mass of information on the Internet will dwindle during the next few years as the Internet matures.” Right. It “dwindled” from 200,000 paperwork to a mere practically quarter of a billion.
As you possibly can see at 1:10 in my video Shark Cartilage Supplements Put to the Test to Cure Cancer, one of the vital widespread “alternative cancer cures recommended on popular web sites” is shark cartilage. Indeed, “much has been made in recent years of the mystical aura afforded” to cartilage from sharks. “Clearly, part of the impact can be attributed to a visceral fear of cancer combined with a healthy respect for a creature that has survived almost without evolutionary changes from prehistoric times. It has been reported that sharks rarely get cancer because one of their defining features is a body with a high proportion of cartilage. Logic has led some to believe that this must be the reason for sharks’ relative health.” I’m not precisely positive that’s logical, however they do have plenty of cartilage, which, on the whole, has few blood vessels, and blood vessels are vital for most cancers development. So, all of “these observations…conspired to prime fraught oncology [cancer] patients for shameful exploitation by pseudoscience and the supplement industry with the addition of just one myth”—particularly, that sharks don’t get most cancers. But, they do get most cancers. The faulty declare is simply one other layer of “fallacious arguments” which have “successfully convinced desperate cancer patients to buy ineffective products that distract them from proven or potentially useful therapies.” Hold on. You don’t know if it’s ineffective, till you place it to the check.
Sixty sufferers with a wide range of superior cancers have been given a couple of dozen scoops a day of shark cartilage. The end result? Not a single response or perhaps a partial response was famous in any of their tumors. Shark cartilage was ineffective “and had no salutary effect on quality of life.” In reality, as you possibly can see at 2:38 in my video, the most cancers sufferers suffered important gastrointestinal toxicity from the shark cartilage, whereas the tumors progressed in every certainly one of them. What occurred within the management group? There was no management group, so how do we all know the cancers wouldn’t have progressed even sooner with out the shark cartilage? This is why we want randomized managed trials. Unfortunately, there weren’t any…till the Mayo Clinic stepped up and conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, scientific trial for sufferers with incurable breast or colorectal carcinoma.
“Data on a total of 83 evaluable patients were analyzed. There was no difference in overall survival between patients receiving standard care plus a shark cartilage product versus standard care plus placebo. Likewise, there was no suggestion of improvement in quality of life for patients receiving the shark cartilage, compared with those receiving placebo.” There was additionally a prostate most cancers examine. Only 5 sufferers completed the examine, and, in all 5, their cancers continued to progress unabated. “Unfortunately, the claims for the benefits of shark cartilage are completely unsubstantiated by any objective data from controlled clinical trials.”
Not so quick, said complement producers. Maybe these crude industrial shark cartilage powders simply don’t have excessive sufficient ranges of no matter energetic parts there could also be. In that case, possibly most cancers sufferers must be taking shark cartilage extract drugs as an alternative. The National Cancer Institute tested that, too, simply to make completely positive. What did it discover when it funded a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial to place it to the check?
Unlike the opposite shark cartilage dietary complement research, the researchers used the purified extract, “and the study outcome [was] unambiguous.” It failed. The shark cartilage group lived 14 months, and the placebo group lived 15 months. There was no important distinction in survival, time to development, or tumor response price. So, “these clinical studies have led most to conclude that shark cartilage is not just unproven as a cancer remedy, it is actually well disproven.” Yet, “despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, such claims persisted.” For instance, the huckster who began all of it wrote a sequel, Sharks Still Don’t Get Cancer. Perhaps the “only cure for this myth is to spread the rumor that cartilage from the noses of quacks is anticarcinogenic” and fights most cancers.
If you actually needed to eat angiogenesis inhibitors, why sit right down to a bowl of cartilage powder when you would simply eat an apple, drink inexperienced tea, or have some turmeric, pomegranate berries and nuts, soybeans, flaxseeds, or broccoli, all of which have been proven to have anti-angiogenic results?
What are the opposite dangers? I cowl them in my video The Risks of Shark Cartilage Supplements.
- There are practically 1 / 4 of a billion paperwork about most cancers on-line, together with pages selling unproven most cancers therapies.
- One of the commonest “alternative cancer cures” is cartilage from sharks, benefiting partially from “a healthy respect for a creature that has survived almost without evolutionary changes from prehistoric times. It has been reported that sharks rarely get cancer because one of their defining features is a body with a high proportion of cartilage.”
- Studies haven’t discovered shark cartilage to be helpful. For instance, a trial performed by the Mayo Clinic discovered no distinction in general survival or high quality of life between sufferers given shark cartilage versus placebo.
- Supplement producers argued that maybe shark cartilage extract drugs wanted to be examined as an alternative of shark cartilage powders, however the National Cancer Institute’s check of purified extract was additionally “unambiguous”—no important distinction was seen in survival, time to development, or tumor response price.
- Indeed, “shark cartilage is not just unproven as a cancer remedy, it is actually well disproven,” but claims touting its cancer-fighting capabilities persist.
- Instead of shark cartilage, plant-based meals with anti-angiogenic results embrace apples, inexperienced tea, turmeric, pomegranate berries and nuts, soybeans, flaxseeds, and broccoli.
For different cautionary tales about dietary supplements try:
In well being,
Michael Greger, M.D.
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