Green-lipped mussels, AKA Perna canaliculus, are renowned in the pet world for their use in the prevention and management of joint disease - particularly osteoarthritis - and are now found in most of the commonly used, over-the-counter joint supplements produced for both cats and dogs.
Green-lipped mussels were first studied for their potential medicinal uses when a study found that the native Maori people of New Zealand, who lived in coastal areas where these green-lipped mussels are found, showed a marked reduction in joint problems, compared to those living inland.
The reason for this, is that they contain eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA), which is a cyclo-oxygenase (COX) inhibitor, like most commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs (Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs – NSAIDs), which makes it more effective as an anti-inflammatory than fish oil alone.
DR SIMON'S TIP
She has found green-lipped mussels to show a much more marked effect in improving mobility in patients, and will always opt for supplements high in green-lipped mussels for all her patients.
Although they are generally very safe to use, they are best avoided if your pet has an allergy to shellfish!
WHAT ARE GREEN-LIPPED MUSSELS USED FOR?
Green-lipped mussels are packed with a wealth of minerals and vitamins, which support overall bone health, joint metabolism as well as provision of building blocks for cartilage, joint fluid and the lining of the bladder (to name but a few)
They have anti-inflammatory actions that can improve all kinds of inflammatory diseases, as they are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, as well as glycosaminoglycans (including chondroitin).
Its anti-inflammatory actions, thought to come mostly from the omega-3s, particularly DHA & EPA, have many beneficial effects on inflammation in the body, especially relating to the eyes, brain, heart, bowels and joints.
It may be useful in supporting chronic inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), allergies, cancer, autoimmune disease and asthma.
BENEFITS OF GREEN-LIPPED MUSSELS IN DOGS AND CATS:
● Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions
● May help to build healthy cartilage and maintain bone strength.
● May encourage growth of good bacteria in the gut.
● May suppress inflammation, making it potentially great in IBD or similar issues.
● May improve various markers of respiratory function, such as asthma.
● May alleviate muscle soreness, cancer and behavioural conditions.
Given the huge increase in inflammatory conditions, and the chronic disease that follow on from these, such as cancer, we could do with more natural anti-inflammatory agents to help maintain our pets’ health - as well as our own!Green-lipped mussels contain a plethora of beneficial compounds against inflammation, amongst other things, that it should be a welcome addition to any modern diet.