Which clinical studies have been performed with Green-lipped mussel?

Dozens of clinical studies have been performed regarding the efficacy of Green-lipped mussel in joint inflammation. Because many of these studies were sponsored by the producer of the Green-lipped mussel product that was studied, and there was no correct control- or placebo group, it is difficult to divide chaff from the grain in this large amount of studies. That is why there are scientists who write systematic reviews: every published study is first rated for reliability of the study design, integrity of the information in the publication and other issues which make a study or publication ‘good’.
Green-lipped mussel

Green-lipped mussel

In 2008, a systematic review appeared regarding clinical studies using Green-lipped mussel products [1]:
Four so called ‘Randomized Controlled Trials’ (studies with a thorough design and a proper control group) showed that the intake of the Green-lipped mussel in people with beginning to advanced osteoarthritis had a positive effect on the clinical symptoms of the disease [1]. Although there was some criticism on a few of these studies, the largest of the four studies showed a clear significant difference regarding pain and general wellbeing between the group that received Green-lipped mussel and the group that received the placebo [1].
In a study that appeared after this review, it was confirmed that Green-lipped mussel has a better effect compared to glucosamine sulphate [2]. This was the result in 38 people with knee-osteoarthritis [2]. The improvement was strongest in the group receiving Green-lipped mussel after 3 months especially concerning stiffness, pain and stomach problems [2].
Two hospitals in Brussel performed an observational study regarding the effect of liquid Green-lipped mussel, Bio-Curcumin and Blackcurrant leaf on lower back pain and knee-osteoarthritis. The investigators observed a significant improvement of the pain and movement limitation. The stiffness increased significantly less. In the meantime, a follow-up study has been performed, which also showed positive effects in lower back pain.
Also in dogs and horses with joint problems the application of the Green-lipped mussel increases in popularity. Especially because the Green-lipped mussel is also effective in animals, we know that the positive experiences in humans can not only be based on a placebo effect.

Moreover, Green-lipped mussel can be safely used in combination with most regular medication.
Read more about the Green-lipped mussel.
Read more about Curcumin, another natural anti-inflammatory compound.
Read more about Blackcurrant leaf, another natural anti-inflammatory compound.
Read more about osteoarthritis and what you can about it yourself.
[1] Brien, S. et al. (2008) Systematic review of the nutritional supplement Perna canaliculus (green-lipped mussel) in the treatment of osteoarthritis. The Quarterly Journal of Medicine 101;167-179.
[2] Coulson, S. et al. (2013) Green-lipped mussel extract (Perna canaliculus) and glucosamine sulphate in patients with knee osteoarthritis: therapeutic efficacy and effects on gastrointestinal microbiota profiles. Inflammopharmacology 21;79-90.

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