Green lipped mussels may trump fish oil for joint health benefits: Study
Extracts from the New Zealand green lipped mussels may benefit joint mobility and reduce pain more than fish oil supplements, report researchers from Poland.
According to findings published in Rheumatologia, the official journal of the Institute of Rheumatology and the Polish Rheumatological Society, a daily dose of 1.2 grams of a green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) produced ‘significantly less pain, greater joint mobility and no side effects’ in all 25 people taking the supplements for 12 weeks.
In comparison, a daily dose of 1.2 grams of fish oil, containing 18% EPA and 12% DHA, produced “no pain relief or increased joint mobility”, report researchers from the Academic Clinical Hospital in Wroclaw, Poland.
This study used the commercial green lipped mussel extract Lyprinol from Pharmalink International, and the study was partly financed by the company.
“Given the potential side effects, large dosages needed and long duration required for fish oil, practitioners could consider stabilised Perna canaliculus oil as a safer and faster acting first-line medication for patients who suffer from osteoarthritis,” wrote the researchers.
The NZ green lipped mussel, ranked among the top 'eco-friendly seafoods' according to the US environmental agency Blue Ocean Institute's list, is already used as a source of nutraceuticals.
The extract, a rich source of iron, betain, and glycoaminoglycans (including chondroitin sulphate) has gained a reputation amongst consumers as a natural product with anti-inflammatory properties - an effect that has been attributed to a body of science to its lipid factions.
The majority of green-lipped mussel extracts reportedly retain, to a greater or lesser degree of standardisation, the mussels' natural nutrient profile.
The Polish researchers divided 50 people into two equal groups. One received eight capsules per day of Lyprinol (150 milligrams per capsule) or eight fish oil capsules per day (150 milligrams per capsule) for 12 weeks.
The authors of the study reported that all 25 of the subjects who used the mussel oil extract reported significantly less pain, greater joint mobility and no side effects.
The half of the group who were treated with fish oil reported no pain relief or increased joint mobility and 36% reported unpleasant side effects.
“In the present study, we observed a surprisingly rapid reduction of clinical symptoms associated with osteoarthritis notable within four weeks and continuous improvement over the 12 weeks of the study,” wrote the researchers.