What Are the Benefits of Squalene?

Both people and plants naturally produce the organic molecule squalene. But store-bought squalene is usually derived from shark liver oil, amaranth seeds, olives, or wheat germ. In the body, squalene helps create vitamin D , cholesterol and hormones. The varied uses of squalene make it a valuable substance.

Cancer Prevention

A 1997 study by Harold L. Newmark published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention" found that squalene may interrupt cancer growth by inhibiting DNA from producing cancerous cells. The high rate of squalene found in olives and olive oil may account for the minimal cancer rates in regions such as the Mediterranean.


Squalene is a fatty substance similar to sebum. It quickly penetrates the outer layers of the skin and mixes with other essential oils and nutrients commonly found in moisturizer products. A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that squalene prevented the formation of tumorous skin cells in mice.


Proponents of squalene often tout its anti-oxidant effects. Anti-oxidants improve heart health by minimizing oxidation, which destabilizes cells. In a study in Pharmacological Research published in September 2004, scientists found that mice given a compound that induces heart problems resisted those difficulties better when treated with squalene in their food.