The secrets of squalene

Squalene is a poly-unsaturated hydrocarbon liquid (C30 H50), which occurs naturally, ubiquitously in nature – in small amounts – even in human tissue. These hydrocarbons of Squalene bind hydrogen ions when in contact with water and saturate with that, forming branched squalene (C30 H62). This chemical process releases 3 unbound oxygen molecules (O2) as a by-product:

C30H50 (squalene) + 6 H20 (water) > C30H62 + 3 O2 (oxygen).

Also taking into account the enormous working range of Squalene with a boiling point of 285ºC and a freezing point of -75º C., turn this remarkable lipid into a powerful generator of free oxygen under adverse circumstances. Small wonder that Squalene abounds in the livers of deep sea sharks, hunting at depths of up to 1,000 metres (3000 feet), where the atmospheric pressure is intense and conditions extreme. The liver of the relatively small (< 1,50 m) deep sea shark forms up to 40% of total body weight and contains up to 85% of Squalene, which supplies much of the oxygen, needed for a prolonged stay in the deep, directly to the body cells. By contrast Squalene is not found in sharks living at shallow sea levels.

As deep sea sharks became scarce, because of exhaustive fishing, shark liver oil, - especially appreciated in Japan and China – became un-payable. But a miraculous discovery came to rescue. Although Squalene in sharks was discovered as early as 1906 by Dr. Mitsumaro Tsjujimoto of Japan, it lasted almost a century before investigators found out that this valuable component also widely appears elsewhere in nature. Oliva Europeae (the olive tree) takes the first price of the Kingdom of Plants’ participation for creating the largest percentage of squalene. Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains up to 708 mg of squalene per 100g compared to 36 mg per 100g of corn oil (Guttfinger and Letan), establishing fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oil as the second richest source of squalene of our planet after deep sea shark liver oil.


There is a significant relationship between the degree of one's health and the amount of oxygen consumption by body cells. In today's polluted environment, lack of exercise, and poor lifestyle, Squalene gives your body a beneficial source of oxygen. Squalene carries oxygen in the cellular level, causing further improvement in organ function through cellular metabolism, preventing the acidic-cell syndrome when cells deteriorate due to lack of oxygen causing them to turn malignant or die.


Squalene revitalizes weakened body cells and helps revive cell generation. Its chief attribute is the protection it affords cells from oxidation reactions. The human body has about 6 billion oxygen-reliant cells. Oxygenation promotes good health to the most basic level of life - the cell. By doing so, Squalene also forms a formidable anti-aging agent and is also attributed to be an excellent immune stimulator.

Squalene in Can Solivera Olive Oil Soap

Along with quite a number of very beneficial micro-components in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (click on About Olive Oil and Health to read more), Squalene does not form soap when blended with alkaline lye. As Can Solivera avoid using high temperatures during soap making, these so called unsaponifiables are not destroyed and keep their curative properties in the soap (click on Olive Oil and Skin Care to read more). The normal and regular use of both: Extra Virgin Olive Oil and pure extra virgin olive oil soap, has reportedly been helpful in treating dry and irritated skin, including xerosis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, eczema and seborrhoea and has been noted to soothe the effects of psoriasis in a number of cases. Squalene’s effect on acne is under investigation.

Fights certain types of cancer

Squalene is non-toxic, 100% natural and has no known side effects. Its beneficial action is not limited to a particular organ. It is believed to fight free-radicals and helps cure certain type of cancers, such as colon-, skin- and breast cancer. Squalene has also been promoted as having cell-protecting abilities, which may reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. No surprise that squalene these days is so much sought after. Olive oil refineries and distilleries world-wide extract all the squalene they can (99% pure) during the process of purifying lamp- and pomace olive oils (click here About Olive Oil Quality to read more) to meet the rising demand of pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic industries.

A word of caution

As the discovery of the olive tree as an alternative, abundant and sustainable source of Squalene is fairly recent, there appears to be a renewed interest in the nature and potential of this anti-oxidant. Aided by modern medical insights and advanced equipment, researchers are opening new horizons, but much more time is needed to substantiate many health claims – including some of the above mentioned - beyond any doubt.

@ All rights reserved.
Hans de Roos
Can Solivera
September 2013