Green Lipped Mussel extract supplement benefit and side effects, 50 mg lipid extract, research studies, does it help with joint health or other medical conditions
January 2 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D. (natural medicine and healing database)

The New Zealand green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) is the source of a lipid extract that is available generically and as branded product called Lyprinol. Claims have been made that the preparation may be helpful in the management of inflammatory diseases. Results of clinical studies to date have been contradictory, but there is some evidence that green lipped mussel extracts have some anti-inflammatory capabilities, and may play a role in asthma and arthritis and maybe even inflammatory bowel disease.
Those who wish to use this supplement for joint health should also consider an effective product called Joint Power Rx. Some people like to combine the mussel extract pills along with 2 to 4 pills of the joint formula.

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What the research studies say about medical uses
This supplement may be helpful in asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Anti-inflammatory benefits
Halpern GM. Anti-inflammatory effects of a stabilized lipid extract of Perna canaliculus. Allerg Immunol. 2000.
Couch RA, Ormrod DJ. Anti-inflammatory activity in fractionated extracts of the green-lipped mussel. N Z Med J. 1982.

Arthritis, joint pain, osteoarthritis
Bierer TL, Bui LM. Improvement of arthritic signs in dogs fed green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus). J Nutr. 2002.

Mar Drugs. 2013. Perna canaliculus lipid complex PCSO-524 demonstrated pain relief for osteoarthritis patients benchmarked against fish oil, a randomized trial, without placebo control. Osteoarthritis typically generates pain, reduced mobility and reduced quality of life. Most conventional treatments for osteoarthritis, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and simple analgesics, have side effects. PCSO-524, a non polar lipid extract from the New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and has been shown to reduce inflammation in both animal studies and patient trials. This osteoarthritis trial examined pain relief changes in relation to quality of life and safety of use for OA patients who took PCSO-524 compared with patients who took fish oil (containing an industry standard EPA-18% and DHA-12% blend). PCSO-524 patients showed a statistically significant improvement compared with patients who took fish oil. There was an 89% decrease in their pain symptoms and 91% reported an improved quality of life. Patients treated with fish oil showed significantly less improvement and a greater level of physical discomfort during the study. These results suggest that PCSO-524 might offer a potential alternative complementary therapy with no side effects for OA patients.

Asthma, is there a benefit?
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways mediated, at least in part, by leukotrienes and other lipid mediators. Experimental studies have shown that lipid extract of New Zealand green-lipped mussel, Perna canaliculus, is effective in inhibiting 5'-lipoxygenase and cyclo-oxygenase pathways responsible for production of eicosanoids, including leukotrienes and prostaglandins. The aim of this study was to assess its effect on symptoms, peak expiratory flow (PEF) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in expired breath condensate as a marker of airway inflammation in patients with steroid-naive asthma in a double-blind randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Forty six patients with asthma received two capsules of marine lipid extract or placebo b.i.d for 8 weeks. Each capsule of lyprinol contained 50 mg omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and 100 mg olive oil, whereas placebo capsules contained only 150 mg olive oil. There was a significant decrease in daytime wheeze, the concentration of exhaled H2O2 and an increase in morning PEF in the lyprinol group compared to the placebo group. There were no significant side-effects. The authors conclude that Lyprinol, the marine lipid extract of New Zealand green-lipped mussel may have some beneficial effect in patients with atopic asthma.

Emerlyanov, A. Treatment of asthma with lipid extract of New Zealand green-lipped mussel: a randomised clinical trial. Eur Respir J. 2002.

Inflammatory bowel disease benefit
Lyprinol stabilised lipid extract of New Zealand green-lipped mussel: a potential preventative treatment modality for inflammatory bowel disease.
J Gastroenterol. 2005. Child Health Research Institute, Women's and Children's Hospital, North Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
Lyprinol (Pharmalink International), the stabilised lipid extract of the New Zealand green-lipped mussel, is currently used to relieve symptoms of arthritis. We investigated the effect of pretreatment with Lyprinol on experimentally induced inflammatory bowel disease in mice. Conclusions: These findings provide preliminary evidence that this treatment may be potentially useful in ameliorating symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. The benefit, however, is unlikely to be due to the omega-3 fatty acid content.

Lyprinol: a potential preventive treatment for inflammatory bowel disease IBD?
Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004.
Fish oil and the stabilised lipid extract of New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel are considered beneficial in treating arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Unlike fish oil, it is uncertain whether any benefit seen with Lyprinol is due to its omega-3 fatty acid content. We compared the effect of Lyprinol and fish oil pre-treatments on experimental induction of IBD in mice. These findings indicate that Lyprinol may be potentially useful in ameliorating symptoms of IBD. The lack of effect of fish oil indicates that the benefit of this product is attributable to components of the stabilised lipid extract other than its omega 3 content.

Testimonial received 2011
I started taking Lyprinol for the very painful and chronic IBS and Crohn's disease and for me it was like a magic bullet. I took it approximately one year with dramatic results.

A lipid-rich extract, prepared by supercritical fluid (CO2) extraction of freeze-dried stabilized New Zealand green-lipped mussel powder ( Lyprinol ) has shown significant anti-inflammatory activity when given to animals and humans. When treated p.o. with Lyprinol, Wistar and Dark Agouti rats developed neither adjuvant-induced polyarthritis or collagen(II)-induced auto-allergic arthritis. This was achieved with doses < NSAIDs, and 200 times < of other seed or fish oils. Lyprinol subfractions inhibited LTB4 biosynthesis by PMN in vitro, and PGE2 production by activated macrophages. Much of this anti inflammatory activity was associated with omega-3 PUFAs and natural antioxidants [e.g. carotenoids]. In contrast to NSAIDs, Lyprinol is non-gastro toxic in disease-stressed rats at 300 mg/kg p.o., and does not affect platelet aggregation [human, rat]. Clinical studies, either controlled or randomized, have demonstrated very significant anti inflammatory activity in patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and other inflammatory conditions. Lyprinol is a reproducible, stable source of bioactive lipids with much greater potency than plant/marine oils currently used as nutritional supplements to ameliorate signs of inflammation.

Clinical efficacy and safety of Lyprinol, a patented extract from New Zealand green-lipped mussel in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee: a multicenter 2-month clinical trial.
Allerg Immunol. 2003.
To validate the clinical efficacy and safety of Lyprinol (a patented extract from Perna Canaliculus), a 5-LOX inhibitor in patients with arthritis. In this multicenter trial, 60 patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee and hip were included to receive Lyprinol at a dose of 2 capsules twice a day. After a 4- and 8-week treatment period, the following parameters were analyzed: visual analogue scale; Lequesne functional index; global assessment by patients; global assessment by physician; and adverse effects. Lyprinol treatment led to significant improvement of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis as determined by all efficacy measures. After a 4- and 8-week treatment period, 53% and 80% (respectively) of patients experienced significant pain relief, and improvement of joint function. There was no reported adverse effect during this clinical trial. Lyprinol was very effective and is a promising anti-inflammatory product that relieves the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, without adverse effect.

Rheumatoid Arthritis help
RA patients who took Lyprinol were able to reduce their medications.

Efficacy and tolerability of a combination of Lyprinol and high concentrations of EPA and DHA in inflammatory rheumatoid disorders.
Adv Ther. 2004.
This 12-week drug-monitoring study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Sanhelios Mussel Lyprinol Lipid Complex on 50 adult men and women with inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis. A total of 34 patients required drug therapy before and during the study. By the end of the Lyprinol study, 21 (62%) patients were able to reduce their dosage and 13 were able to terminate drug therapy. At the end of the Lyprinol treatment period, 38% were regarded symptom free, and the number of patients with severe pain decreased significantly from 60% at baseline to 25% at the completion of the trial. A significant effect was observed for each investigated parameter. The special combination of Lyprinol and omega-3 fatty acids was generally very well tolerated. This dietary supplement may therefore be considered an effective and well-tolerated component of treatment regimens for inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis.

Side effects, safety, danger
As of 2014, I am not aware of green lipped mussel side effects reported in scientific journals.

Q. I am allergic to shellfish, would Lyprinol cause an allergic reaction to people who are allergic to shellfish?
   A. Lyprinol is extracted from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel which is a shellfish. Shellfish allergies can be caused by certain proteins in seafood. Since Lyprinol oil does not have protein, the risk of shellfish allergy from taking Lyprinol should not occur. As of 2009 no Lyprinol allergy has been reported in the medical literature. We suggest you consult with your healthcare provider for the final decision as to the appropriateness of Lyprinol for your particular health condition.

I am allergic to bivalve mollusks, ie. oysters, mussels, scallops. May I take Lyprinol?
    I am not sure exactly how the manufacturing process is done to know whether there are any residues of shellfish protein that could be a problem to those with severe allergies to shellfish. Thus far I have not heard of anyone having a bad reaction or an allergy to Lyprinol. It is possible that some shellfish residues are left over.

Animal studies
A lipid extract of Perna canaliculus affects the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in a rat adjuvant-induced arthritis model.
Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008.
The lipid extract of Perna canaliculus, New Zealand green-lipped mussel, is known for its anti-inflammatory effects in animal models and in human controlled studies (arthritis; asthma). As a follow-up of its effects on pain in a rat model of adjuvant-induced arthritis, we studied its effects on the production of cytokines known to be associated with inflammation (IL-6, IL-1alpha TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma). Feeding with Lyprinol was associated with significantly decreased expression levels of TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma when compared to Naproxen (positive control) and, even more when compared with sham and extra-virgin olive oil (negative control).

Review study
Lyprinol -- is it a Useful Anti-inflammatory Agent?
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009.
The Food and Drug Administration have recently warned Lyprinol USA about their extravagant anti-inflammatory claims appearing on the web. These claims are put to thorough review. Lyprinol does have anti-inflammatory mechanisms, and has anti-inflammatory effects in some animal models of inflammation. It may have benefits in dogs with arthritis. There are design problems with the clinical trials of Lyprinol in humans as an anti-inflammatory agent in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, making it difficult to give a definite answer to how effective it is in these conditions, but any benefit is small. Lyprinol also has a small benefit in atopic allergy. No adverse effects have been reported with Lyprinol. Thus, although it is difficult to conclude whether it does much good, it can be concluded that it probably does no major harm.

Other products on the market
Green Lipped Mussel extract 50 mg each pill, 60 Softgel Capsules
New Zealand green-lipped mussels and their associated stabilized lipid extracts contain sterols, stanols and fatty acids.
Purchase Green Lipped Mussel extract supplement pills, Joint Power Rx with chondroitin, glucosamine, msm and cmo

California Gold Nutrition, New Zealand, Green-Lipped Mussel Plus Ginger, 500 mg, 240 Veggie Caps
Buy New Zealand Green-lipped mussel 500 mg

Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 1 Veggie Capsule
Servings Per Container: 240
  Amount Per Serving % Daily Value*
Freeze-Dried Green-Lipped Mussel (Perna Canaliculus) Extract 500 mg
Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale) Powder 200 mg
Daily Value not established.