The green-lipped mussels, or perna canalicula, is a mussel native to New Zealand. It is also known as the greenshell mussel, New Zealand mussel, kuku, and kutai. This specific bivalve mollusc differs itself from others with its dark brown or green shells with a lighter green around the edges. It is also one of the biggest mussels around.
The health benefits of this mussel have first gained the attention of westerners in the 1960s, when they have noted that Maori people, who have been consuming the shell fish for thousands of years, suffer from less inflammatory disease.
The green-lipped mussels are also a popular supplement for people suffering from arthritis. It was during a study to test the effectiveness of green-lipped mussel as a possible cancer treatment that it shown promise as a supplement for arthritis patients. Participants in the said study commented that they have experienced less joint pain and increased joint mobility after taking the supplement. A recent study conducted in New Zealand also shows that more than half of all participants who took doses of freeze-dried mussel powder have felt less knee pain than before taking the supplement.
Dietary supplements are available where green-lipped mussel extracts have a concentrated dose of omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids, carbohydrates and minerals. Studies have shown that it is the omega 3 fatty acids that had the positive effect for people who have arthritis. This is because these fatty acids have a great anti-inflammatory effect. Besides this, omega 3 fatty acids also help regulate the immune system.
Studies have shown that omega 3 fatty acids show more positive results for people with osteoarthritis when taken with paracetamol or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
There are also developing studies that suggest the positive effects of green-lipped mussels to patients with asthma. Particular extracts from New Zealand green–lipped mussels have shown to help decrease daytime wheezing and improve the breathing of some asthma patients.
Since it is hard to purchase fresh green-lipped mussels elsewhere in the world besides its native New Zealand, green-lipped mussel dietary supplements are available for purchase via the Internet, and is available in powder or oil. It is important to purchase from a reputable online source.