Cartilage sugar, chondroitin sulfate, has been used as a dietary supplement, usually with glucosamine to combat osteoarthritis.
Studies have shown that cutting cartilage sugars into smaller units (oligosaccharides) can potentially increase their bioactivity in vitro.
The results of the project showed that it is possible to produce cartilage sugars from shark cartilage and coarsely refined cartilage sugars from simple edema. It is also possible to produce oligosaccharides from shark cartilage with specific biocatalysts.
The cartilage sugars show considerable bioactivity in vitro and cartilage sugars from Icelandic sea otters are particularly interesting as they show antioxidant activity, immune-regulating activity and hypoglycemic activity.