Shark Liver Oil (SLO) has a 30% composition of the omega-3 fatty acids dominated by DHA and EPA. The Omega 3 fatty acids are important components of the brain and nervous system, and also have been associated with reduced mortality rates from cardiovascular disease. Omega 3 fatty acids also promote the reduction of oxygen-derived free radical formation. SLO provides
dietary support against auto-immune problems such as arthritis. The squalene component of SLO provides natural support for wound healing and immune system stimulation.

The traditional uses of shark liver oil have been:

  • As a lubricant in the tanning and textile industries. Crude liver oil containing squalene was used as a lubricant because it has a melting point of -75oC and a boiling point of 330oC.

  • In cosmetics and skin healing products.

  • In health products and traditional foods.

  • To coat the hulls of wooden boats as a preservative against marine fouling.

  • As fuel for street lamps.

  • To promote the healing of wounds, irritations of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts and general debility by fishermen in Scandinavia in ancient times. By the early 19th century its use there had ended except for a few isolated fishing communities.

  • To produce Vitamin A during World War II, particularly in the USA and Australia. This led to an extensive fishery for tope shark and picked dogfish. The market in shark livers collapsed when synthetic imitations became available.

Nowadays, demand is mainly for squalene oil, which is used in cosmetics, health food, and as high-grade machine oil. Squalene is a highly unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon, present in certain shark liver oils, mainly of the family Squalidae, and in cod liver oil, olive oil, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil and other vegetable oils. Although its occurrence was first reported by Tsujimoto in 1906, it was isolated only in 1926 by Heilborn et al. Shark liver oil is a natural source for this hydrocarbon and squalene is isolated from fish oil by high vacuum distillation. It can easily produce oxygen by combining with water and many studies have been related to its role of oxygen carrier. Some sharks have as much as 90% squalene in the liver and, because of its low specific gravity, thus maintain their buoyancy in water. Squalene is used as a bactericide, an intermediate in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, organic colouring matter, rubber, chemicals, aromatics, in finishing natural and artificial silk and surface active agents. Nowadays it is extensively used as an additive in pharmaceutical preparations, cosmetics and health foods. It is prepared by adding proteins and carbohydrates.

A related compound of squalene is squalane, a saturated hydrocarbon obtained by hydrogenation of squalene. Squalane is also used in skin care products, as it is a natural emollient. It is less easily oxidised than squalene. Other chemical compounds found in shark liver oils are diacyl glyceryl ethers, which are considered to be efficient in healing wounds and in preventing the multiplication of bacteria.

Connie’s comments: Coconut oil, olive oil and shark liver oil are the top 3 oil to restore youthful looking skin.