, or green-lipped mussel, is an edible shellfish found off the shores of New Zealand. It has been commercially available as a food supplement in the United States since 1975. Perna mussel was for centuries, a major part of the diet in local populations of New Zealand. The reported incidence of arthritic and rheumatic disorders was extremely low among coastal New Zealanders compared to those living inland.
In the 1960's, researchers from Britain and the United States began a search for marine organisms in an attempt to isolate possible natural drugs for the treatment of cancer. The New Zealand Fishing Industry Board provided perna mussels for the study. The green-lipped mussel was tested on human cancer patients, but to no avail. However, patients who were also suffering from arthritis reported less pain, joint stiffness, and improved mobility. Later, two human clinical studies using perna mussel showed improvements in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Perna mussels are produced under government license and to government standards. Mature mussels are collected and chilled to below 40ºC within two to four hours. The soft tissue is separated from the shell, washed several times, frozen, and freeze-dried. It is then processed into a fine powder and added to products.
Perna contains a natural mineral balance similar to that of the human. It is made up of 61% protein, 13% carbohydrates, 12% glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), 5% lipids (including certain Omega-3 fatty acids), 5% minerals, and 4% water. Perna mussel also contains glucosamine, one of the building blocks of cartilage. Glucosamine, GAGs, and Omega-3 fatty acids are the compounds in the mussel believed to contribute to its beneficial effects. GAGs are the main components of cartilage and the synovial fluid found in joints.
GAGs increase the lubrication of the joint and increase water uptake into the cartilage. This water uptake, which decreases with age, is necessary for the lubrication and shock absorption of the joints. There are nine classes of GAGs, five of which are related to connective tissue. Two of these five are chondroitins, which make up the basic substance of both bone and cartilage. GAGs, provide flexibility, elasticity, and strength to cartilage.
Perna mussel has been successful in managing degenerative joint diseases and arthritis in both human and veterinary health fields: it contains natural anti-inflammatory agents and many essential building blocks needed to rebuild the necessary components in joints. Perna has also been reported to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation associated with arthritis and improved joint mobility. Ongoing research in both humans and animals continue to show that the use of supplements containing green-lipped mussel such as
Joint Care Level 1 Primary Plus, or
Joint Care Level 3 Premium, when used as directed, is an effective supplement for the management of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.