Green Lipped Mussel Extract – Can it Really Help Arthritis?

There are over 150 different types of arthritis, with one in five Australians suffering from a type at some stage in their lifetime. Indeed, arthritis doesn’t discriminate – it can strike children, teenagers, adults and the elderly, no matter what gender.

Prevention is always better than a cure, however for the millions suffering from arthritis, effective and natural pain relief can be hard to come across.

Recent research has now shown that there is hope for arthritis sufferers, in the form of an ugly little shellfish being grown in icy waters in New Zealand.

Green-lipped mussel (GLM) extract first came to light around 23 years ago after showing some good results for pain and inflammation relief in initial studies. Many years on, and more research studies are showing the powerful therapeutic effects of this little crustacean.

Green-lipped mussels inhibit inflammation in the body. Although inflammation is somewhat normal in the body under certain conditions (part of our immune system), excessive or chronic inflammation can result in pain, damage and deformity in the body, especially in the joints.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of green-lipped mussel extract dating back to 2003 showed hugely positive results for the use of this anti-inflammatory extract.¹

The research study, held in Seoul, Korea, was performed to evaluate the effectiveness and clinical tolerance of green-lipped mussel extract (GLME) against placebo in osteoarthritis of the hip and knee.

In the multicenter trial, 60 patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee and hip were included to receive two capsules of GLME twice a day. After a 4 and 8 week trial period, those receiving the treatment experienced a significant improvement of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis as determined by set measures.

After the 4 and 8 week time period, 53% and 80% (respectively) of patients experienced signficant pain relief, and improved joint function.

There were also no adverse side effects experienced.

Many other studies have shown positive results for GLME not only in the treatment of arthritis, but also for asthma, bronchitis and other inflammatory conditions.

While other species of the mussels also contain anti-inflammatory chemicals, this little green mussel has it in far greater quantities, however for the millions of people suffering from arthritis, this could be the answer they are looking for.


Emed’s comment:

It may be an extremely ugly animal, but the green-lipped mussel is proving a god-send for those suffering from debilitating pain and stiffness caused by arthritis.

So why this particular animal?

The answer is simple. Green-lipped mussels are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

If you receive our newsletter, no doubt you’ve heard us talk many times about the benefits of fish oil. Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids. However, as the numerous studies on GLME show, the omega-3’s don’t have to come from the scaly kind of sea dweller to be effective.

Omega-3 oils are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They are hugely beneficial to most inflammatory conditions, like joint pain, muscle pain, skin health and even healthy mood and cognitive function. EPA and DHA help to prevent and treat heart disease, cancer and illness – even arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Unlike NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – think Nurofen etc.), fish oils don’t pose any nasty side-effects like internal bleeding, ulcers or bleeding from the bowel. They work at a cellular level to provide individual cells from damage by inflammation, free radicals or injury.

We’ve shied away from carrying a GLME product, as many brands have promised a lot – but delivered little. Mobicosa contains 500 mg of green-mussel extract, purified to eliminate heavy metal contamination.

In order to treat/prevent arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, it’s best to take an overall healthy approach. Supplementing with a fish oil supplement in addition to GLME will provide you with the best natural prevention available. Reducing and eliminating inflammation early will reduce your chances of developing chronic inflammatory diseases.

Choose a high-quality, potent fish oil. Our ‘Best Fish Oil’ section will provide you with all the information you need to select the best fish oil for you.

Your diet contributes massively to the onset of inflammatory diseases like arthritis. Highly processed foods, artificial additives, acidic products and high consumption of grains, breads and cereals all cause inflammatory states in the body. Eliminate grain-based foods from your diet – you simply don’t need them. Educate yourself on what you should be eating to achieve optimum health, and reduce your chances of a long-term inflammatory disease.

If you are taking an anti-inflammatory, stop. NSAIDs like Nurofen cause a huge range of serious side-effects, made even worse by regular, daily use. If you feel you need to take something everyday to ease your pain, masking it with something like Nurofen or Panadol isn’t helping the problem. Not only can they make your condition worse, most anti-inflammatories attack the gastrointestinal system, causing ulcerations, bleeding and perforations of the intestines and bowel.

To support joint, cartilage and bone health, invest in a potent glucosamine/chondroitin formulation like ArthroGuard. ArthroGuard helps to build cartilage and joint tissues, reducing joint pain and immobility.

Last, but definately not least – exercise. Exercise is important for maintaining optimal weight, muscle and bone health, but also for preventing inflammatory joint diseases like arthritis and ostearthritis. Regular exercise – both cardio and weights – will help to relieve and prevent joint stiffness and deformity, and it’s never too late to start. A 20 minute walk after work, or a short weights session is a great start.

By taking a proactive approach now, you can help to prevent arthritis in the future.

Further reading:

¹Cho S.H., Jung Y.B., Seong S.C., Park H.B., Byun K.Y., Lee D.C., Song E.K., Son J.H., 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 (Paris). 2003 Jun; 35 (6): 212-6.