The liver oil of certain shark species or Elasmobranch fishes has been widely used in the past in Scandinavian medicine because of its strengthening, wound healing, and immune supporting properties. It was not until recently that biochemists discovered substances in the oil that may have accounted for its traditional uses - namely the alkylglycerols.
Alkylglycerols are ether-lipids, present in blood producing organs such as the bone marrow, spleen and liver; but they can also be found in human milk and colostrums. Marine sources of alkyglycerols include the liver oil of certain shark species and the ratfish.
Several clinical trials have demonstrated the ability of alkylglycerols to help support the immune system in a variety of ways. Alkylglycerols may help support the body’s natural responses towards bacteria, fungi and yeast; increase total antioxidant status of blood; and help to support the production of certain immune system chemicals called cytokines, such as interleukin 12 (IL-12) and interferon gamma (IFN- γ).
IL-12 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine which down-regulates, and therefore reduces, the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines including tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-11 (IL-11). Both TNF-alpha and IL-11 are proteins that contribute to inflammation. Although inflammation is an essential part of the body's healing system, chronic low-grade inflammation is intimately involved in all stages of atherosclerosis, the process that leads to cholesterol-clogged arteries; as well as contributing to Alzheimer's disease and a variety of other ailments.
IFN- γ is released by white blood cells of the immune system, including lymphocytes and macrophages, and has known anti-viral and anti-tumour properties. It also provides protection against bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
Alkylglycerols have also been shown to have other beneficial effects including supporting the production of all types of blood cells (haematopoiesis), sperm quality improvement, reducing radiotherapy-induced injuries, and anti-tumour and anti-metastasis activities.
The liver oil of the ratfish is a major natural source of alkylglycerols. The Nutrition Group at the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, were surprised at the levels of alkylglycerols present in ratfish liver oil, stating that these very high levels are “unusual for fish oils.”
Alkylglycerol percentage in Rosita Ratfish Liver Oil™
The table below shows the actual alkylglycerol composition of Rosita Ratfish Liver Oil™ expressed as percent by weight (w/w). The number of carbon atoms in the first column refers to the long-chain component of the molecule. The number after the colon denotes the number of double bonds
|Alkylglycerols||Rosita Ratfish Liver Oil™(% w/w)|
Later tests performed in February 2013 with a Swedish Lab using other and new testing methods, has shown Total Alkylglycerols content to be more than 33%.