What is Shark Liver Oil, and how does it work?
Shark liver oil (SLO) is made from the livers of sharks, especially Centrophorus squamosus, Cetorhinus maximus, and Squalus acanthias, or deep-sea shark, basking shark, and dogfish shark.
It uses in Scandinavian traditional medicine for a long time to cure wounds, cancer, heart disease, and infertility, among other things.
It’s now available as a dietary supplement that claims to provide the same health benefits.
SLO’s high alkylglycerol (AKG), squalene, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content link to a variety of health advantages, according to research.
The oil has a strong scent and flavor and is dark yellow to brown. SLO may find in liquid or pill form, as well as in skin creams and lip balms.
Advantages and Applications
The alleged health advantages of SLO assume due to certain chemicals in the oil, including AKG, squalene, and omega-3 PUFAs.
Here are some of SLO’s most common applications and advantages, all of which scientific validates.
It may have Anticancer Qualities
One of the most often advertised advantages of SLO is its cancer-fighting ability. Which is predicate sharks’ extraordinarily low cancer incidence and backed up by the oil’s high AKG and squalene concentration.
AKG is a kind of fat found in blood-forming organs including the spleen and liver. It’s prevalent in breast milk and red blood cells, in addition to SLO.
AKG seems to have anti-tumor potential in test tubes and animals via activating macrophages and inhibiting angiogenesis.
Macrophages are a kind of white blood cell that digests damaged cells, including malignant cells. As well as other substances, and are important in anti-tumor defense.
Meanwhile, it has an anti-angiogenesis effect, which means it prevents new blood vessels from forming, which might feed cancer cells. As a result, it aids in the slowing of tumor development and dissemination.
In addition, dogfish sharks are thought the greatest source of squalene, a chemical name after the genus Squalus.
Squalene is thought to minimize the inflammation generates by anticancer medications, making it a good supplement to chemotherapy.
Keep in mind, however, that human research still requires.
It may help your immune system
SLO utilize by fishermen since ancient times because of its ability to boost immunity.
AKGs in the oil, in addition to stimulating macrophages, increase antibody formation and improve the function of Fc-receptors. Which are proteins that contribute to the immune system’s protective role.
Antibody levels rose dramatically, inflammation decreases marginally, and the beginning of problems minimize during a 4-week trial in 40 older persons given 500 mg of pure AKG capsules twice daily before and after surgery.
When coupled with surfactants, squalene, on the other hand, seems to serve as an enhancer that boosts the efficiency of vaccinations. Surfactants are chemicals that enable the solubilization or stabilization of two molecules that would otherwise not mix.
Squalene’s immunostimulating action, which boosts antibody formation and higher immunological response, is most likely to blame.
Finally, because of their anti-inflammatory properties, PUFAs such as omega-3s contained in SLO may alter your body’s immunological function.
It may help your heart
SLO’s influence on heart health is another well-known advantage. Squalene, on the other hand, has conflicting scientific data.
The squalene has anti-atherosclerotic properties, which means it reduces or slows the accumulation of plaque in your arteries. Which is a risk factor for high blood pressure and stroke.
Squalene is also a precursor to cholesterol creation, and it is thought to build up in the liver, lowering cholesterol and triglyceride synthesis.
Furthermore, 11-week research found a rise in HDL (good) cholesterol levels in rats given 0.45 grams per pound (1 gram per kg) of squalene.
Furthermore, omega-3 PUFAs including oil have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.
Squalene, on the other hand, seems to raise total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, according to new research.
In one research, animals given a 0.05 percent and 0.5 percent squalene-supplemented food saw total cholesterol levels rise by 32 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Blood triglyceride levels followed a similar pattern.
A 4-week trial in 13 individuals found high dosages of SLO. Which comprised 3.6 grams of AKG and squalene as well as 750 mg of omega-3 PUFAs, raised overall cholesterol levels by 23%.
Researchers discovered that the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 don’t present with such high concentrations of AKG and squalene, and they concluded that the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 don’t manifest with such high doses of AKG and squalene. When healthy persons were given 15 grams of SLO every day for four weeks, they had similar outcomes.
Other Possible Advantages
Additional health advantages may attribute to the AKGs, squalene, and omega-3 PUFAs found in SLO:
- Fertility may be Improved: AKGs in SLO have been shown in animal experiments to increase sperm motility and speed.
- It has the Potential to Improve Skin Health: Squalene is a major component of skin oil, often known as sebum. It hydrates the skin while also protecting it from ultraviolet (UV) damage.
- Radiation Illness may be Avoided: Radiation treatment harms, such as tissue damage, are considerably reduced when AKGs are present in the oil.
- It may help with Mouth ulcers: Because of its immune-boosting properties, SLO has the potential to drastically minimize the occurrence of recurring mouth ulcers.
Precautions and Side Effects
However, as previously stated, there is considerable debate over SLO’s influence on blood cholesterol levels, particularly when ingested in large amounts.
As a result, anybody with a cardiac condition should avoid using this product.
Squalene produced from the oil may also cause SLO-induced pneumonia, according to previous human and animal research.
Furthermore, one individual who supplemented with two SLO capsules daily for two weeks had a liver impairment, resulting in hazardous levels in the liver.
As a result, before supplementing with SLO, visit your healthcare physician.
Finally, although sharks are susceptible to heavy metal pollution, particularly mercury contamination, evidence shows that it accumulates mostly in muscle tissue and fins.
Previous research even claims that mercury-exposed fish have low mercury levels in their oils, implying that the metal eliminates during the production process.
Dosage and Administration
There isn’t much information on how much SLO to take or how long to supplement with it. Intake requirements are state base demands of users and prior ailments.
However, one research showed that taking 500 mg of SLO twice a day before surgery might help with immunity and wound healing.
However, bear in mind that larger dosages of roughly 15 grams per day link negative effects on blood cholesterol levels.
Although manufacturers suggest taking your SLO supplement with meals to increase absorption. There is no scientific proof to support this claim.
As a result, it’s crucial to stick to your healthcare provider’s dose, duration, and ingestion directions.
Despite its putative heart-health advantages, several pieces of research show that a daily SLO intake of 15 grams or more may raise blood cholesterol levels and reduce HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
These impacts on blood cholesterol levels would be harmful to your health and might contradict SLO’s anti-atherosclerotic effect, or capacity to prevent plaque from forming in your arteries.
There have been no known interactions between SLO and meals or medications. This isn’t to say that they won’t happen.
SLO, for example, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which belief to decrease blood pressure. As a result, when used with blood pressure medications, it may have an additional impact.
Similarly, since omega-3 PUFAs thin the blood, it’s thought that taking them along with blood thinners like aspirin or warfarin might raise the risk of bleeding. Despite this, scientific data is inconclusive.
Before using SLO, talk to your doctor to be sure you’re not putting yourself in danger.
Handling and storage
SLO is prone to oxidation because of its omega-3 PUFA concentration, which means it may quickly get rancid.
Omega-3 supplements that oxidize may lose their effectiveness and cause health problems.
Exposure to light, heat, and air are all things that might cause your SLO supplement to lose its freshness. As a result, some people advise keeping it in a cool, dark spot or even refrigerating it.
After opening, most omega-3 pills are safe for roughly 3 months. Even when kept in the dark at 39°F (4°C), they may develop rancid after one month.
As a result, be sure to follow the storage and handling instructions for your supplement.
Breastfeeding and Pregnancy
Oral supplementation with SLO during pregnancy enhanced white blood cell count in offspring and mother’s colostrum. The initial form of breast milk — indicates a possible enhancement in offspring immunity, according to animal studies.
However, there is no scientific proof that SLO has any impact on pregnant or nursing women, thus it should avoides.
Use in Certain Groups of People
SLO may be generally safe for most individuals, except for possible negative effects in those with heart disease and those using blood-pressure-lowering and blood-thinning medicines.
SLO may also be an alternate source of omega-3 for persons who are allergic to fish. This is owing to cartilaginous fish like sharks having low allergenicity among individuals who cannot tolerate bony fish.
While AKGs, squalene, and omega-3 PUFAs are abundant in SLO and are responsible for most of its health benefits. They may find other foods and supplements.
AKGs, for example, may be present in cow’s milk and ratfish liver oil.
Squalene may find in olive, palm, wheat germ, amaranth, and rice bran oil in acceptable proportions.
Finally, omega-3 PUFAs may find in fatty fish, fish oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, and flaxseed oil, among other animal and plant-based sources.
Shark liver oil has several benefits for health, but it is important to remember that it is not a miracle cure. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements and to heed any warnings that come with the product.
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Ariane Lang. (2020, September 17). Shark Liver Oil: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects. Retrieved from Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/shark-liver-oil
What Is Shark Liver Oil Used For? (n.d.). Retrieved from Vitagene: https://vitagene.com/blog/shark-liver-oil/