Uses of Squalene

Squalene is an organic substance found in animals, plants and humans. The oil form of squalene is commonly extracted from fish oil, specifically shark liver oil, to be used in health supplements, cosmetics, foods and non-prescription medications. Squalene oil is rich in alkyglycerols, chemical compounds found in human bone marrow, and breast milk which may possess cancer-fighting properties.

  1. Cancer Treatment

    • The American Cancer Society notes squalene oil has been shown to slow the growth of cancerous tumor blood vessels, suggesting it may help treat cancer as a standalone product or in conjunction with chemotherapy. The substance may reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment due to its ability to shield cell membranes. Research indicates squalene can protect normal bone marrow cells from the negative side effects of various chemotherapy treatments, while letting the drugs continue to affect cancer cells. Although squalene oil has been purported to possess cancer-fighting potential, more data from clinical trials is needed to verify these claims.

    Heart Health

    • The oil has been used to treat conditions related to the heart and blood system, lowering triglyceride levels and blood pressure. Squalene oil has been linked to preventing heart disease and stroke, according to a Medline plus study. Taking excessive doses of squalene carries risks such as increased bleeding, and can actually elevate the risk of stroke.


    • The liquid form of squalene forms an emulsion used in vaccines to enhance the response of the immune system. According to the World Health Organization, the influenza vaccine FLUAD, which possesses 10 grams of squalene per dose, is approved in multiple European countries. The substance is being used in experimental vaccines which help treat malaria and the pandemic flu.


    • Squalene has been linked to digestive problems like diarrhea, upset stomach and nausea. The oil also raised blood cholesterol levels in animal studies and might possess harmful polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, which can increase the risk of some types of cancer in humans. If you have seafood allergies, avoid taking shark liver oil, as it might cause discomfort.

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