How Is Cartilade Made
How Powdered Shark Cartilage Should Be Produced
Any shark cartilage product, to ensure quality and reliability, must be properly processed. The processing of dry powdered shark cartilage involves four basic steps: (1) Cleaning; (2) Drying; (3) Pulverizing and (4) Sterilizing. These processes must be accomplished without rendering the active protein fibers ineffective.
Much research, testing, and management necessarily is involved in the development and production of high quality shark cartilage products suitable for human consumption. Processing shark cartilage without rendering the active protein fibers ineffective presents major problems, many of which are not addressed by manufacturers of inferior shark cartilage products.*
Conventional cleaning, drying, pulverization, and sterilization processes with their excessive heat and/or use of harsh solvents or chemicals often denature the active protein and render the cartilage therapeutically valueless. Proteins are easily denatured by heat and other manufacturing processes and by various chemicals like solvents and acids that are designed to remove fats and other unneeded components.*
The central strands of protein that make up the heart of shark cartilage are among the largest proteins produced by any cells. It is these strands, called macro proteins, that appear to carry the angiogenesis inhibitor; and it is these strands, so prevalent in shark cartilage, that give the cartilage 1,000 times the antiangiogenesis effect of mammalian cartilage. When looking at a piece of shark cartilage, you can see the strands containing the antiangiogenesis inhibitor in the matrices of all the components.*
These strands are very tough and almost impossible to pulverize, yet they are the material essential to antiangiogenesis. Thus, in order to produce an effective shark cartilage, it is essential that these strands be pulverized without denaturing the protein from which they are made. In addition, the abundant water content of cartilage (cartilage is more than 85 percent water) and the way in which the water is bound within the cartilage also make drying difficult and costly. Heat must be used sparingly since excessive heat is damaging.*
In shark cartilage, at least one of the proteins active as an angiogenesis inhibitor is denatured if processing temperatures are elevated. Furthermore, both the cartilage and the protein within it are inactivated if they are treated with solvents like acetone or submitted to strong acids for extended periods. Fortunately, there is practically no fat attached to shark cartilage, so solvent extraction as a processing step is unnecessary. In the processing of bovine cartilage, which normally has a fairly high amount of fat clinging to it, solvent extraction is needed to keep the product from turning rancid. The acetone used to remove the fat connected to bovine cartilage denatures the already modest amount of angiogenesis-inhibiting protein.*
Particle size, which is dependent on how well pulverized a material is, is another consideration. Shark cartilage must be absorbed into the system as quickly as possible to prevent the protein from being digested by proteolytic enzymes. If digested by these enzymes, the protein is broken down into its constituent amino acids, which are not effective in antiangiogenesis. The preformed protein, rather, is what is effective as the angiogenesis inhibitor. Shark cartilage powder must therefore be pulverized finely enough to be quickly absorbed into the body system as a suspension of preformed protein. Experience has shown that at least 90 percent must pass through a 200-mesh screen for maximum effectiveness. This is finer than most talcum powders.*
After conducting years of research and experimentation, Dr. I. William Lane developed a process for cleaning, drying, pulverizing and sterilizing shark cartilage that ensures quality and reliability without rendering the active protein fibers ineffective.* Dr Lane's process is so effective and innovative, in 1991 he was awarded a patent on the process.
In his book, SHARKS DON'T GET CANCER, Dr Lane had the following to say about his patent:
It is estimated that only about three patents have ever been issued to the health-food industry. Patents are difficult tods because hard evidence about such foods' effectiveness is often not available. Representatives of the health-food industry also do not usually seek patents, as do representatives of the pharmaceutical industry. Many food supplements are effective products, but proving their effectiveness is difficult, and sometimes test procedures don't exist. Since the evidence of shark cartilage's ability to inhibit angiogenesis can be proven by the CAM assay and the results of the xenograft studies conducted at the Institut Jules Bordet, I did apply for a patent. The patent was issued to me on Christmas Eve 1991.o obtain for health fo It reads in part: "This invention relates generally to a method of, and a dosage unit for, inhibiting angiogenesis or vascularization in an animal having an intestinal wall utilizing an effective amount of shark cartilage, particularly finely divided shark cartilage, for passing through the intestinal wall as a suspension for inhibiting, inter alia, tumor growth and metastasis, in particular Kaposi sarcoma; arthritis, in particular rheumatoid arthritis; diabetic retinopathy and neovascular glaucoma; psoriasis and inflammatory diseases with vascular component."
This patent will give the consumer protection against the "copycat" products that often haunt successful health-food products not protected by patent. Copycat products--the manufacturers of which are spurred by the desire to make a profit--may not be produced with the care needed to assure quality. The products may not even undergo the testing necessary to assure effectiveness. This is a particularly serious problem with a shark-cartilage product since the cartilage requires proper processing to ensure quality and reliability. The proper method of processing shark cartilage took months--if not years--to perfect. As the patent says, "It will be understood that the shark cartilage useful in the method of the present invention may be prepared by any suitable means or process to result in shark cartilage that is substantially pure shark cartilage, substantially free from adhering tissue."
With the patent issued on Christmas Eve, I received the best Christmas present I could have, but the United States Patent Office also gave a gift to all hopeful and potential users of shark cartilage. The patent will legally stop copycat manufacturers and distributors so that maximum effort can be devoted to improving the quality of shark cartilage to provide its users with maximum benefit.
Dr. Lane's original patent (US Patent No. 5,075,112) has been assigned to Cartilage Technologies, Inc. (now Atrium Biothreapies, Inc.), the makers of CARTILADE® brand shark cartilage, the world's leading brand of shark cartilage. Dr. Lane has continued to work on new methods of producing shark cartilage and other shark cartilage products.