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Green-Lipped Mussel
  • Perna canaliculus
Principal Proposed Uses
  • Osteoarthritis
Other Proposed Uses
  • Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis

The green-lipped mussel, a common appetizer in sushi restaurants, contains healthy fats in the omega-3 family. Like fish oil , another source of omega-3 fatty acids, green-lipped mussel has shown some promise for reducing inflammation. 1 Inflammation is the cause of symptoms in numerous illnesses, ranging from arthritis to asthma. On this basis green-lipped mussel has been promoted as a treatment for these conditions. However, the evidence that it provides any meaningful benefits remains highly preliminary.

Therapeutic Uses

There are two major forms of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis . Rheumatoid arthritis is primarily a disease of inflammation, and the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil have been successfully used to treat it. 2 Inflammation plays a relatively less important role in osteoarthritis. However, green-lipped mussel has been tried for both conditions, with, at present, inconclusive results.

Unlike standard NSAIDs , which harm the stomach wall, green-lipped mussel might actually help prevent ulcers . 3

Green lipped mussel has also shown some promise for asthma .

What Is the Scientific Evidence for Green-Lipped Mussel?

Arthritis

The evidence regarding use of green-lipped mussel for arthritis remains weak and inconsistent. 16

Several animal studies performed by a single research group have reported that green-lipped mussel reduces symptoms of osteoarthritis. 4-6,17 However, the results from human studies remains inconsistent. Of five reported controlled studies of green-lipped mussel for osteoarthritis, two found benefit. 7-13,16

Asthma

In an 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 46 people with allergic asthma, those who received a green-lipped mussel extract showed some improvement in wheezing and peak flow of air. 14

Therapeutic Dosages

A typical dose of green-lipped mussel is about 200 mg per day of the lipid extract or 1,000 mg per day of the freeze-dried powder.

Safety Issues

In studies, green-lipped mussel has not caused much in the way of side effects other than occasional mild digestive distress. People with shellfish allergies, however, should avoid green-lipped mussel.

Unlike oysters, green-lipped mussel does not appear to contain heavy metals. 15

References

1.   Halpern GM. Anti-inflammatory effects of a stabilized lipid extract of Perna canaliculus (Lyprinol). AllergImmunol (Pairs) . 2000;32:272–8.

2.   James MJ, Cleland LG. Dietary n-3 fatty acids and therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. Semin Arthritis Rheum . 1997;27:85–97.

3.   Rainsford KD, Whitehouse MW. Gastroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties of green lipped mussel ( Pernacanaliculus ) preparation. Arzneimittelforschung . 1980;30:2128–32.

4.   Bui LM, Pawlowski K, Bierer TL. The influence of green-lipped mussel powder ( Perna canaliculus ) on alleviating arthritic signs in dogs [abstract]. FASEB J . 2000;14:A218.

5.   Bui LM, Pawlowski K, Bierer TL. A semi-moist treat containing green-lipped mussel ( Perna canaliculus ) can help to alleviate arthritic signs in dogs [abstract]. FASEB J . 2000;14:A748.

6.   Bui LM, Pawlowski K, Bierer TL. Reduction of arthritic signs in dogs fed a mainmeal dry diet containing green-lipped mussel ( Perna canaliculus ) [abstract]. FASEB J . 2000;14:A748.

7.   Cho SH, Jung YB, Seong SC, et al. Clinical efficacy and safety of Lyprinol, a patented extract from New Zealand green-lipped mussel ( Perna canaliculus ) in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee: a multicenter 2-month clinical trial. Allerg Immunol . 2003;35:212–6.

8.   Larkin JG, Capell HA, Sturrock RD. Seatone in rheumatoid arthritis: a six-month placebo-controlled study. AnnRheum Dis . 1985;44:199–201.

9.   Audeval B, Bouchacourt P. Etude controle en double aveugle contra placebo de l’extrait de moule Pernacanaliculus dans les gonarthrose. Gaz Med Fr . 1986;38:111–6.

10.   Caughey DE, Grigor RR, Caughey EB, et al. Perna canaliculus in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Eur JRheumatol Inflamm . 1983;6:197–200.

11.   Gibson RG, Gibson SL, Conway V, et al. Perna canaliculus in the treatment of arthritis. Practitioner . 1980;224:955–60.

12.   Gibson RG, Gibson SL. Green-lipped mussel extract in arthritis [letter]. Lancet . 1981;1:439.

13.   Gibson SLM, Gibson RG. The treatment of arthritis with a lipid extract of Perna canaliculus : a randomized trial. Comp Ther Med . 1998;6:122–6.

14.   Emelyanov A, Fedoseev G, Krasnoschekova O, et al. Treatment of asthma with lipid extract of New Zealand green-lipped mussel: a randomised clinical trial. Eur Respir J . 2002;20:596–600.

15.   Rojas de Astudillo L, Chang Yen I, Agard J, et al. Heavy metals in green mussel ( Perna viridis ) and oysters ( Crassostrea sp.) from Trinidad and Venezuela. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol . 2002;42:410–5.

16.   Cobb CS, Ernst E. Systematic review of a marine nutriceutical supplement in clinical trials for arthritis: the effectiveness of the New Zealand green-lipped mussel Perna canaliculus. Clin Rheumatol. 2005 Oct 12 [Epub ahead of print].

17.   Bui LM, Bierer TL. Influence of Green Lipped Mussels (Perna canaliculus) in Alleviating Signs of Arthritis in Dogs. Vet Ther. 2003;4:397-407.



Last reviewed September 2014 by EBSCO CAM Review Board

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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