We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more

Green-lipped mussel

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.


0800 5200 520

Our new helpline: Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis. Open Mon–Fri 9am–8pm.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes

Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

Ask a question
For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.