Shark Cartilage. Properties


Angiogenesis, oxidative stress and inflammation are different aspects related to diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, etc.. While oxidative stress would be a cause of disease, neovascularization (or angiogenesis) and inflammation would be a manifestation of some disorders.

Oxidative stress is defined as any situation in which there is an increase in the concentration of reactive oxygen species that is not properly compensated by the human body's antioxidant system. This requires getting the balance with the increase of reducing enzymes (eg glutathione, vitamins C and E that are able to eliminate harmful free radicals).

Free radicals are highly reactive compounds (with a number of electrons in the molecule decompensated) that attack the cells (eg the walls of the arteries) and other molecules in the body such as DNA. The DNA of the cell nucleus, which contains all the information for the proper functioning of the cell, and polyunsaturated fatty acids present in cell membranes, are compounds that suffer greater harm by the action of free radicals.

Free radicals are formed as byproducts of normal metabolic processes of the organism, and also by pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and ozone air pollution, heavy metals, halogenated hydrocarbons, ionizing radiation and multiple compounds present in cigarette smoke. They are highly reactive compounds that can cause chain reactions that eventually damage the cell structures and DNA in particular for what they are carcinogens.

There are many diseases related to the harmful action of free radicals (1), including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, premature aging, autoimmune diseases, etc..

The formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis or neovascularization) is related to certain diseases inflammatory and immune origin, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriasis. The vascularization of cartilage occurs in an advanced stage of arthritic diseases and is critical of the painful sensation that accompanies the disease.

Also the growth and development of tumors depends on these have a good supply of nutrients, then it must form around the tumor vessels to receive the blood that you need to keep alive their cells.

It has been hypothesized with the fact that, since cartilage is an avascular tissue, it must have some factor that inhibits the formation of blood vessels. Working on this hypothesis is arrived at interesting results, promising in cancer cases.

Inflammation is an immune response elicited by Th1 type CD4 T lymphocytes that appears as a defense in case of illness, injury or manifestation of infection, which causes pain. In case of chronic inflammation, the inflammation ceases to be useful for defending the body and begins to be bad so it must be avoided, in inflamed areas, damaged tissue release substances that mediate pain and cause vasodilatation to increase the Blood supply to the affected part and reach more cells of the immune system. For pain relief is used anti-inflammatory drugs, which inhibit the synthesis of these mediators of pain, but sometimes have unpleasant side effects. Inflammation is clearly implicated in the development and demonstration of joint diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Shark Cartilage and angiogenesis
The three disease conditions described above (angiogenesis, oxidative stress and inflammation) can be improved using natural products such as shark cartilage and glucosamine. The shark's skeleton is mainly cartilaginous. It has been said that, as an avascular tissue, cartilage is thought it would contain a substance capable of inhibiting the formation of blood vessels.

Dr. Langer and his colleagues at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in 1976 isolated a substance of cartilage inhibited neovascularization. Researchers from this same institution in 1990 identified this substance as a macroproteina that, besides inhibit mammalian collagenase (2.3).

Doctors Langer and Lee showed that shark cartilage contains this vascularization inhibitor in an amount 1,000 times greater than that found in bovine cartilage (4).

Numerous studies about the action of shark cartilage in cancer treatment. Since it is capable of inhibiting angiogenesis, reducing the possibility of metastasis of tumors, and in some cases there has been a reduction in tumor mass. So, while shark cartilage does not cure cancer, if it can help slow and perhaps halt his advance, additional aid may be very important.

Another disease related to blood vessel formation is psoriasis. This is an inflammatory disease of the skin with dilated capillaries. In the more developed psoriatic lesions there is proliferation of blood vessels and neovascularization. Professor E. Dupont and his colleagues published a 1998 study which concluded that shark cartilage could be used to treat psoriasis and other systemic diseases associated with an impaired vascularization. Also showed the same anti-inflammatory properties of shark cartilage extract (5).

Shark Cartilage and osteoarthritis
The joint cartilage involves cells (chondrocytes) embedded in an extracellular matrix composed mainly of collagen fibers and ground substance rich in mucopolysaccharides. This is a tissue that receives no direct blood flow (avascular tissue), their cells get the nutrients through the movement of the ligaments (connectors with other bones) and tendons (muscles and bone connectors). The content of mucopolysaccharides, the stability of collagen and the avascular nature of cartilage are factors taken into account to explain the appearance of joint diseases.

The formation of blood vessels is associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. As described by Drs Brown and Weiss, the synovial fluid of those affected by osteoarthritis contains a substance called factor stimulating endothelial cell angiogenesis (ESAF), which is related to the vascularization and degradation of cartilage (6). The anti-angiogenic action of shark cartilage offers a promising effect in controlling the progression of joint disease, although their effectiveness is more apparent when there is inflammation.

Shark cartilage in his composition has a high proportion of mucopolysaccharides, also known as glicosaminglicanos (GAGs), molecules that are part of the cartilage tissue, specifically the substance.

The GAG determine the structure, permeability and viscosity of ground substance, besides they depend on the transport of ions, the diffusion of nutrients, water retention, cell signaling and collagen synthesis (7). The joint majority GAG is hyaluronic acid, composed of glucosamine and glucuronic acid. Glucosamine incorporated in oral supplements is used to synthesize hyaluronic acid (8). In addition to the hyaluronic acid, shark cartilage contains a high proportion of chondroitin-6-sulfate, which can replace the chondroitin-6-sulfate to stop producing cartilage in aging, so that slows the loss of flexibility and prevents the growth of the lesion in the arthritic joint. Another important GAG sulfate galactosamine-glucurono-glycan, which stimulates cell metabolism and inhibits joint destructive enzymes of cartilage, so favors the repair of joints.

These mucopolysaccharides help reduce inflammation of joints, and provide nutrients to the damaged cartilage that needs to be repaired. The use of cartilage significantly reduces the incidence of muscle and joint damage (muscle tears, inflexibility, etc.).. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect of shark cartilage was studied by a team from the University of Ceara, Brazil, determining that this action is involved nitric oxide system (9). Other components in shark cartilage are collagen, the major protein of cartilage, and the amino acids necessary for their synthesis (proline, glycine, lysine), also tetranectina that stimulates bone remineralization.

Another role of shark cartilage is in protecting against oxidative stress, which also is among the causes of arthritis. Researchers at the University of Rio de Janeiro have shown that shark cartilage preparations have a role

*Automatic Translation