According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the green-lipped mussel has been a source of food in New Zealand "since the beginning of human habitation." Other names for the green-lipped mussel include perna canaliculus, Lyprinol and Seatone.
What is Lyprinol?
Lyprinol is a stabilized natural lipid extract from the green-lipped mussel. It is generally formulated with olive oil and vitamin E as an antioxidant, and it contains unique Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
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In the late 1970s, green-lipped mussel powders were promoted as an alternative treatment for arthritis. However, in the 1990s, Lyprinol emerged as a more stable form of mussel extract than the powders. In 1998, the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Medicine reported the first clinical trial supporting the use of green-lipped mussel extracts in the treatment of arthritis in humans.
Lyprinol's main reported benefit is relief from pain and inflammation caused by such diseases as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma. In addition to suppressing symptoms, green-lipped mussel reportedly promotes healing and is better tolerated by the body than other pain medicines.
Lyprinol has no known major, long-term side effects. Possible minor effects may include upset stomach and gas, skin rash, fluid retention and nausea.
Taking green-lipped mussel products, such as Lyprinol, may provoke allergic reactions in some people. Signs of an allergic reaction include itching or hives, swelling of the face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, chest tightness, breathing difficulties or rash.
As a marine product, the green-lipped mussel can be contaminated with heavy metals or shellfish toxins. Pregnant or breast-feeding women, as well as people on medications and those with other health problems, should inform their doctor before taking Lyprinol.