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A while ago I started investigating arthritis treatments, not for me but for one of my boys (cats). Green Lipped Mussel was something that came up time and time again during my searches and after a word with my vet who thought it was an excellent idea I bought some. I bought mine from Holland and Barrett for £12.99 and each one of the 100 capsules in the bottle contains 500mg.
Green Lipped Mussel is in fact derived from a type of mussel. This mussel is also known as the "New Zealand Mussel" or "Greenshell Mussel" and is native to New Zealand. Green Lipped Mussel has been shown to be anti-inflammatory and to contain Omega 3, Amino Acids, Minerals and Carbohydrates. They suspect the Omega 3 is the reason trials have found it to be so good but of course the mixture with the other ingredients could well contribute. Trials have found that for arthritis sufferers it does often decrease pain and inflammation and the only mild side effect they know of is a bit of flatulence or nausea in some people. It is safe to take with other medications as far as they know but there is some indication it might interact with blood thinners so it's best to ask either your GP, pharmacist or in my case vet before use.
Each capsule contains a muddy green powder and they are to be swallowed whole by people at a dosage of one capsule twice a day. Even though I bought these for my boy I decided to try them myself too. I have inflammation from hypermobile joints so I wasn't sure if these would help me or not as the source of the inflammation isn't being removed so it doesn't calm down. After a month of taking them I knew they weren't working for me and stopped so I wasn't pointlessly swallowing my boy's capsules when he could have them instead.
As for animals, studies have shown these to be much more effective in animals than they are in people. I'm not sure why, maybe it's the balance of ingredients working alongside animal's systems in some way it can't with people but they found they were especially helpful for cats. My boy had started to have trouble with one of his hind legs and the vet had offered me anti-inflammatories for him but I'm reluctant to give those as cats can't metabolize them very well and there's a real risk of overdose if you're not very careful. I asked him if he thought Green Lipped Mussel would be worth a try and he said yes definitely, if it didn't ease the problem entirely we could add a low dose anti-inflammatory to the Green Lipped Mussel or it might work well enough on it's own.
Once I got the capsules I looked up doses for cats and found 150mg daily to be the maximum so I started him off at about 80mg to make sure he was ok with it before upping the dose to the maximum 150mg. I actually mix this into a paste to give to my boy so he's fine with taking it but my other lad won't even entertain the idea of it despite it being seafood!
As with people it can take 4-6 weeks to notice a difference so we kept up this dose daily for that long before judging if it was working or not. Initially I wasn't sure it was doing much good as he was still very stiff when he first got up and limping on and off, however after a few weeks this decreased. I have to say I also added a vitamin at that point to address nerves but I did notice benefits from the Green Lipped Mussel before I did this. I definitely noticed his stiffness decreased and he looked alot more comfortable. He's still got arthritis in his leg and hip but the symptoms aren't as noticeable now, in fact you can only really tell when he goes up the stairs as he goes up slowly but at 16 years old I'd expect some slowing down!
Overall it's worked well for my boy and we've managed to avoid anti-inflammatories at this point. If he gets worse we'll add them to the Green Lipped Mussel but I intend to keep him on the supplement for good now. As for people I can only say they didn't help me but I do know of several people with arthritis who've had good results from them, I think it has to specifically be arthritis for these to help so I'm not a very good test subject really.
Obviously if you have a shellfish or seafood allergy please don't take these! And of course they're not suitable for vegetarians. I think anyone with arthritis should try these just in case they help and anyone with animals with arthritis might want to discuss it with their vet and see if they help their furbabies.
A 4 star rating from me because they've worked very well for my boy.