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In northern regions such as Norway, Demark, Iceland and Sweden, shark liver oil is commonly recognized as an important remedy for making it through the harsh winters. Fishermen would sail the seas and give high regard to the oil. It is commonly used in Scandinavian folk medicine for maintaining immune health.

So what makes it so unique? Shark liver oil contains naturally occurring compounds such as alkylglycerols, squalene and omega-3 fatty acids. The alkylgycerol compounds target immune cells, such as white blood cells, providing a boost in their function to protect against unwanted invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Alkyglycerols are known to help keep immune defense systems on alert.[i]

Specifically, alkyglycerols activate cytotoxic macrophages, a type of white blood cell that ingests foreign invaders such as bacteria or virus.  This enhanced immune response makes the cells more hypersensitive and ready to fight off infection[ii].

Shark liver oil also contains a compound known as squalene. Squalene can also be sourced from olive oil. Squalene is included in a variety of immune products to help enhance antibody responses. In particular, squalene is included in some vaccines to provide improved protection against various viral infections, including the influenza virus. [iii] It acts as an adjuvant which helps ramp up and broaden the targeted effects of a vaccine. [iv]

Taking into account, these unique compounds, it is not surprising that both pharmaceutical and natural health industries have begun to recognize the scientific benefits of shark liver oil.


[i] Iannitti T., Palmieri B. (Aug 2010). An update on the therapeutic role of alkylglycerols. Marin drugs; 5;8(8): 2267-22300.

[ii] Iannitti T., Palmieri B. (Aug 2010). An update on the therapeutic role of alkylglycerols. Marin drugs; 5;8(8): 2267-22300.

[iii] O’Hagan DT. (Oct 2007). MF59 is  safe and potent vaccine adjuvant that enhances protection against influenza virus infection. Expert review of vaccines; 6(5):699-710.

[iv] O’Hagan DT. (Oct 2007). MF59 is  safe and potent vaccine adjuvant that enhances protection against influenza virus infection. Expert review of vaccines; 6(5):699-710.

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