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Green-lipped mussel

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Green-lipped mussel classification

Green-lipped mussel is a nutritional supplement taken from a type of mussel native to New Zealand. We don’t really understand how it works, but it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory and joint-protecting properties. Evidence suggests that it might be of some use to people with osteoarthritis when taken along with paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It’s not effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis.

What is it?

Family: Nutritional supplement
Scientific name: Perna canaliculus
Other names: New Zealand mussel, greenshell mussel, Seaton®, GLM, Lyprinol®

Green-lipped mussel is a nutritional supplement taken from perna canaliculus, a bivalve mollusc (mussel) native to New Zealand. You can buy it from high-street retailers.

How does it work?

We don’t yet fully understand how green-lipped mussel works, but we know that extracts contain omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, minerals and carbohydrates. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and are important for maintaining joint cell structure and function, and this might be one of the ways green-lipped mussel works in some people.

Is it safe?

Green-lipped mussel seems to be relatively well tolerated, although gastrointestinal discomfort (like nausea and flatulence) have occasionally been reported. Interactions with other drugs haven’t been well studied, but you should be cautious about taking it with affect anticoagulants because it may affect these.

No recommended safe doses have been found for use in musculoskeletal conditions.

Green-lipped mussel trials for rheumatoid arthritis

A summary of trial evidence for this complementary medicine.

Green-lipped mussel trials for osteoarthritis

A summary of trial evidence for this complementary medicine.

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