I'm not sure about brands, but what you're looking for is alkylglycerol content, which should be stated on the label. That is the active ingredient. I'd look for the highest alkylglycerol content for the best price.
How much scientific evidence is there for using shark liver oil here? Considering shark populations are struggling all over the world, wouldn't a good omega 3 from a more sustainable source be a better thing to take? Not to tell anyone what they should and should not take, this is just my personal opinion, but it would seem like a supplement like this should have a good amount of scientific evidence to justify its use.
These are good questions Alison, and I share your concern about shark populations.Jeanne Wallace (Nutritional Solutions) recommends alkylglycerols from shark liver oil for platelet support, and their recommendations are usually based on some degree of evidence, though I admit I haven't looked into this supplement in great detail.Another question would be: are sharks killed for their liver oil, or is this just a secondary byproduct, the way that cod livers are a byproduct of the cod industry?I don't know the answer to this, but one webpage states: "The oil is available as a by-product of the commercial fishing industry; endangered sharks are not allowed to be killed solely for their oil." http://wholehealthchicago.com/2009/05/19/shark-liver-oil/This was simply the first page I found that stated something on this question, and this is certainly worthy of further research.A review on the therapeutic use of alkylglycerols can be found here.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2953404/pdf/marinedrugs-08-02267.pdfPersonally, I too would have a hard time purchasing a product contributing to the decline of endangered animals. Would fewer sharks be killed if there was no demand for liver oil, or is the liver oil strictly a secondary byproduct? Also, my cost/benefit perspective would likely be influenced by my degree of thrombocytopenia. In severe cases I might be willing to try anything that had some degree of evidence. This is a choice each of us would have to make individually.I do recall when reading the Jeanne Wallace literature that alkylglycerols from shark liver oil were actually effective for boosting platelet counts in their experience, though there isn't much published on it.
Thanks for your response Stephen.I would also be concerned with how these commercial fishing boats are catching their fish, even if the shark liver oil is a secondary byproduct. I also found a Japanese study from 2006 that found contaminants such as PCBs in shark liver oil so it would definitely be important to look at where the shark liver oil is coming from and ideally how it was obtained. Having said this I also agree that it would be worth a try in a severe case and I would be curious to hear if anyone taking this supplement has had their platelets recover.Sorry to diverge from your original question Mark!
I agree completely, and contaminants will be a big question with any fish oil product, especially those highest up on the food chain, such as sharks. I'd want to see a certification by IFOS for purity before purchasing any fish oil product:http://www.nutrasource.ca/ifos/
Thank you very much for your input, Alison and Stephen!I share your concern Alison; that's why I wanted to know if any of you have experience with certain brands that would be more pure/less cruel. I will let you know how I make out!I would rather not give my mom shark liver oil. I don't think it's a supplement commonly used. However, my mom's platelets have taken many months to slowly, slowly recover and we do not want any more delay for the treatment of her recurrence so I am so desperate.
I took shark liver oil (SLO) for many years, but only when I was battling a cold or other infection. You don't want to take it daily otherwise. After we found a squamous cell blip on my skin, and many other pre-cancerous lesions, I added it to my daily regimen, figuring that at that point I needed it. I also researched brands, called the companies, etc and came up with two that I decided were ok in terms of no contaminants, rate of reproduction, and acceptable fishing practices (i.e. the sharks were caught in the nets meant for other catches). Now, you might argue that consumers could be told anything to sell a product but my gut told me these two were as trustworthy as a company could be: Nutrilys del Mar and Scandinavian Formulas. I like them both and have recommended SLO to many people as part of a pycnogenol cocktail that has cured their cancer and kept it away, as long as they took the cocktail. It is a cruel irony that brain tumors don't seem to be affected by it but the cocktail at least helps my body withstand the effects of chemo and radiation. (I had stopped it during the radiation and reduced it during chemo, but wonder now if my brain fog would have been less if I had let the pycnogenol scavenge the extra circulating free radicals they produced for at least a couple of days per week.)Your comment about platelets got me to wondering though. Every time I go for a consult, the NO and his nurse practitioner are always surprised at my blood results. Rarely have they been even close to a level that is worrisome, which is unusual for what I have been through. But at one point I let an "integrative medicine" doctor (those are sarcastic quotation marks, mind you) talk me into reducing my SLO from 1,500mg/day to 500mg/day, as well as make other changes, and my tumor went from being 60% stable to all of it growing by 50%, with the addition of a new, little tumor! I hit my head, and then had to deal with swelling. What an awful mistake I made in accepting this doc's advice. I went back on my full supplement regime, added Avastin for the swelling, and now my tumor is shrinking. There are some fabulous integrative med docs out there, but when you hear one poopoo all supplements across the board, run for the door. I wish I had.Here are my platelet readings compared with SLO and MRIs. (Normal platelet count = 140 - 440 K/uL):6/23/16 Last Day of Radiation, taking 1,500mg SLO/day6/29/16 Begin 5+23 Temozolomide7/1/16 Platelet 192 K/uL 7/26/16 Platelet 161 K/uL 7/27/16 MRI: Tumor looks "beaten up". I feel beaten up too. Acupuncturist adds new Chinese meds and foods to my regime - foods I've never even heard of.8/22/16 Platelet 197 K/uL 9/16/16 Agreed to drop SLO to 500mg/day 10/3/16 Platelet 169 K/uL 10/3/16 MRI: Tumor 50% bigger, new tumor appears. Return to 1,500mg SLO/day10/22/16 Platelet 184 K/uL 10/31/16 MRI: Tumor has "decreased significantly" per path report. Little tumor not mentioned.11/5/16 Platelet 172 K/uL This was an interesting exercise, seeing how these events occurred. I will not be going off the SLO again for sure.