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Green-Lipped Mussel

  • Perna canaliculus


Principal Proposed Uses

Other Proposed Uses

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?

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
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


Halpern GM. Anti-inflammatory effects of a stabilized lipid extract of Perna canaliculus (Lyprinol). AllergImmunol (Pairs) . 2000;32:272–8.
James MJ, Cleland LG. Dietary n-3 fatty acids and therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. Semin Arthritis Rheum . 1997;27:85–97.
Rainsford KD, Whitehouse MW. Gastroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties of green lipped mussel ( Pernacanaliculus ) preparation. Arzneimittelforschung . 1980;30:2128–32.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Larkin JG, Capell HA, Sturrock RD. Seatone in rheumatoid arthritis: a six-month placebo-controlled study. AnnRheum Dis . 1985;44:199–201.
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.
Caughey DE, Grigor RR, Caughey EB, et al. Perna canaliculus in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Eur JRheumatol Inflamm . 1983;6:197–200.
Gibson RG, Gibson SL, Conway V, et al. Perna canaliculus in the treatment of arthritis. Practitioner . 1980;224:955–60.
Gibson RG, Gibson SL. Green-lipped mussel extract in arthritis [letter]. Lancet . 1981;1:439.
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.
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.
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.
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].
Bui LM, Bierer TL. Influence of Green Lipped Mussels (Perna canaliculus) in Alleviating Signs of Arthritis in Dogs. Vet Ther. 2003;4:397-407.

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