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What’s the harm in taking shark supplements?

What if you were told that the supplements you take to improve your health could possibly be killing you slowly?

Don’t panic quite yet. Not all supplements are to blame and the supplements being referred to come specifically from shark cartilage. Shark supplements are being sold under the premise that they treat cancer, arthritis, osteoarthritis, as well as other conditions, though the U.S. FDA has never confirmed the validity of these claims.

So what’s the harm in taking shark supplements? Researchers at the University of Miami, the University of British Colombia, and Florida International University worked together to conduct a study that analyzed 16 different shark cartilage supplements for mercury and β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA).

The study can be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691514001975

Let’s break this down into simpler terms.
BMAA is a ‘cyanotoxin’ produced by ‘cyanobacteria’ which grow within blue green-algae blooms. If you have ever seen something that looks like lime green paint that has been dumped into the water, you’ve probably seen a cyanobacteria bloom.

Cyanotoxins such as BMAA can cause skin rashes, kidney failure, and nervous system failure. BMAA specifically has been tied to neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Pretty scary right?

So how does this apply to shark supplements? Small ocean organisms feed on algae, bigger organisms feed on the smaller organisms, and eventually sharks eat fish that are full of cyanotoxins accumulated through the food chain from blue-green algae blooms.

When researchers tested the 16 shark cartilage supplements for BMAA, it was found in 15 out of the 16 products, while low levels of Mercury were detected in all samples.

You heard that right. Supplements sold at your local store, marketed as beneficial to your health, contain a neurotoxin that could cause ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. They also contain low levels of mercury which can cause further neurological damage, birth defects, blindness, and more.

Let this be a word to the wise. Next time you’re about to buy supplements, don’t forget to check where they come from, especially if they contain shark products. It could change your life.