It is the rich concentration of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), chondroitin sulfates, and other vitamins and minerals that makes green-lipped mussels so beneficial. It that these nutrients reduce osteoarthritic pain and complications in dogs. This is great news for dog owners, as it offers an alternative to anti-inflammatory medications, which cannot always be used on dogs or might have undesirable side effects.
Reducing inflammation and pain – The anti-inflammatory qualities of green-lipped mussels are a result of several active elements. Omega-3 fatty acids are the most important part of this response. When an injury is sustained, including injury and pain from osteoarthritis, arachidonic acid is oxygenated in the body, which causes an inflammatory reaction. Eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA) is a unique Omega-3 fatty acid found in green-lipped mussels that inhibits the arachidonic acid process, subsequently reducing inflammation and pain. There is also an anti-histamine factor that further assists with inflammation.
In a 2015 study of muscle damage and inflammation, it was established that green-lipped mussel oil blends protected against muscle damage during exercise. It also resulted in better strength and range of motion following exercise.
Promoting joint health and mobility – Poor joint health is a significant symptom of osteoarthritis in dogs. It is often visible in the animal as stiffness or lameness, which is caused by pain and lack of mobility in the joints. Nutrients in shellfish, especially green-lipped mussels, can actually interfere with some of the arthritic processes. This causes adjustment to the inflammatory response, which helps to protect against oxidative damage and repair damaged cartilage in the joints.
In a 2002 study, joint pain and swelling in dogs was tested over a 6-week period. Those who were consuming green-lipped mussel extracts throughout the trial showed considerable improvement in overall joint health.
There is still some uncertainty around the exact nature of how Perna canaliculus controls arthritis. In terms of joint mobility and function, it is suggested that green-lipped mussel extracts contains the required nutrients for repairing damaged cartilage. This includes amino acids, glucosamine and glycosaminoglycans. They also contain proteins that inhibit enzyme breakdown in cartilage and connective tissue.
By reducing the overall pain, stiffness and degeneration in the joints, mobility issues caused by osteoarthritis are reduced.
Cardiovascular and immune health – While these benefits are still subject to further studying, there has been evidence found that supports the role of green-lipped mussel supplements in improving overall heart health. This is attributed to the cardiovascular improving functions of PUFA omega-3, which lowers the risks of coronary heart disease.
It has also been established that green-lipped mussel derivatives play a role in regulating the immune system and promoting cellular activity. Omega-3 and other minerals found in mussels such as potassium and magnesium also have immunity-boosting functions.
What is the History of Green Lipped Mussels Health Benefits?:
The green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) is a bivalve mollusc found in the pristine waters surrounding Aotearoa New Zealand. They are commonly found attached to rocks in low tide areas of around 50 metres depth.
The Māori had been eating green-lipped mussels (“kuku” in the indigenous te reo Māori language) to stay healthy long before Europeans first discovered them. Elderly Māori people were observed remaining incredibly active and agile, which they attributed to regular consumption of the kuku. Centuries later, we know a lot more about why these shellfish are so good for us – and how our beloved pets can benefit from them, too.
Green-lipped mussels get their name from the green edges of their shell, which resemble the shape of a human mouth.