Squalene is a natural antioxidant that is used in the cosmetic and personal care, health supplement, and pharmaceutical channels. The raw ingredient of squalene is either sourced from the liver oil of certain deep-sea shark varieties, or from plant sources – with olives being the richest of these.
Squalene is a triterpenoid compound that is naturally found in olives.
It is estimated that around 2.7 million sharks are killed each year to obtain squalene for commercial purposes.
Research shows that squalene is associated with a variety of health benefits:
- Squalene is a major intermediate in the biosynthesis of cholesterol
- Believed to be responsible for the low incidence of skin cancer in populations who consume a Mediterranean Diet
- Preliminary research in animals shows squalene to have an inhibitory action on chemically-induced skin carcinomas
- Decreased production of cholesterol
Squalene is also a key ingredient in many cosmeceutical products.
Waterman E, Lockwood B. Active components and clinical applications of olive oil. Alt Med Rev. 2007;12(4):331–41.