An interesting new report from Essence has tapped into the shark cartilage powder pills craze, which claims that consuming pills made from shark cartilage can help folks with thinning hair and regrow that hair to something thicker and more lush. Citing statistics from a previously published study from the International Journal of Medical Research, the article sounds impressive when it points to findings that claim a 38 percent increase in additional hair growth was experienced by folks taking pills like Nourkrin.
What’s in Nourkrin? A person would be hard-pressed to discover all of the ingredients — and finding the words “shark cartilage” isn’t an easy task when trying to suss out the true contents of the shark powder pills. As listed on the “ingredients in Nourkrin® WOMAN” page, the first “Marilex” proprietary ingredient — which is called “truly safe” by the company, doesn’t list what it actually contains. Beyond the 600mg of Marilex® – only found in Nourkrin® — are ingredients such as Acerola cherry extract, Silica, Horsetail extract, and D-biotin.
The ingredients listed in the shark pills for men show similar findings, with Fenugreek, which is something known as helpful to pregnant women who want to increase their flow and quantity of milk for their nursing periods.
There are mentions of shark cartilage in connection with the company’s product on Amazon, at least by one of those leaving customer reviews of the product — which encourages folks to just buy shark pills and other ingredients on their own to save money. Other reviews for the product are mixed, with some saying they experienced a better texture and feel of their hair after taking the shark pills. Some say they saw no difference at all.
As reported by the Daily Mail, whether shark cartilage pills can help grow hair is also a mixed bag, depending on the expert who weighs in on the topic.
Salon even notes that when the erroneous thought process came about in the 1990s that said sharks could get cancer, and folks began taking shark powder pills a-plenty, it resulted in many sharks dying needlessly. It turns out sharks can get cancer. But can taking shark cartilage grow hair on humans?
As reported by Style Caster, other pills like Viviscal also contain shark powder, which the publication says is why the pills taste like fish.
The ingredients of Viviscal are much easier to find, listed right on their Amazon page — along with pretty convincing before-and-after photos showing hair growth on consumers.
Amino Mar Marine Complex, Horsetail (stern) Extract Silica, Millet Seed Extract, Vitamin C, Niacin, Biotin, Iron, Zinc (as Zinc Oxide). Microcrystalline Cellulose, Maltodextrin, Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose, Silicon Dioxide, Magnesium Stearate, Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose, Artificial Orange Flavoring, Modified Starch, Glycerol. Contains Fish Ingredients (Shark).
Most of the manufacturers of these types of shark pills tell consumers that they have to take doses over a certain period of time in order to experience the positive effectives on the hair. And perhaps it’s the association of shark cartilage that has some makers not exactly touting the fact that they use such a controversial ingredient in their products. Shark cartilage is comprised of glucosamine, which activates new tissue growth and can help to stimulate the dormant hair follicles of men and women who might have experienced hair loss for years.
Some women experience hair loss as they age, or after the birth of their children, and believe it to be related to hormones. Sometimes it happens after having a hysterectomy. Yet some physicians peg hair loss problems to low levels of iron in the blood — because not everyone eats a lot of red meat.
Reviewers either rave about Viviscal on Amazon and claim it restored their hairlines, or rant about how much acne it gave them. Meanwhile detractor dermatologists say that hair loss in women is tied to iron deficiency or thyroid problems and not the lack of consumption of shark cartilage.
— Dr Kannan Athreya (@drathreya) March 19, 2016
[Photo by AP Photo/Francois Mori]