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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 eicosatetraenoic acids, or ETAs), 5% minerals, and 4% water. Perna mussel also contains glucosamine, a GAG precursor and one of the building blocks of cartilage. Glucosamine, GAGs (unbranched chains of complex sugars) and ETAs (a type of Omega-3 fatty acids) are the compounds in the mussel believed to contribute to its beneficial effects. ETAs are the key ingredients that help in the anti-inflammatory activity and thereby the reduction of joint pain. 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.
Published reports are consistent in their findings that Perna mussel produces an anti-inflammatory response. A Clemson University study found that Perna was effective in reducing the onset of rheumatoid arthritis as well as reversing it in mice and rats. Out of eighteen test animals with arthritis that were fed Perna mussel, only three developed arthritis compared to 10 out of 15 in the control group. Another study found that the green-lipped mussel was effective in reducing pain, swelling, and stiffness in 60 human patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. A French study using 53 patients suffering from osteoarthritis in the knee reported that the Perna extract was "well tolerated by the participants with no adverse conditions reported."
Ongoing research in both humans and animals continue to show that the use of green-lipped mussel is, when used as directed, an effective supplement for the management of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 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. It also is reported to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation associated with arthritis and improve joint mobility.
Anti-inflammatory activity of glycogen extracted from Perna canaliculus (NZ green-lipped mussel).
Miller TE, Dodd J, Ormrod DJ, Geddes R.
Department of Medicine, University of Auckland School of Medicine, New Zealand.
Previous laboratory based investigations of a commercially prepared freeze-dried extract of the NZ green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) showed that the material had the capacity to inhibit experimentally induced inflammation. The activity was thought to reside within an aqueous fraction containing high molecular weight material, possibly a polysaccharide. In the present study, a polysaccharide (glycogen) has been extracted from Perna canaliculus and its anti-inflammatory activity examined in an attempt to characterise further the high molecular weight components of this mollusc. Glycogen extracts administered i.v. demonstrated a dose-dependent anti-inflammatory effect in rats with carrageenin-induced footpad oedema. Mobilisation of neutrophils to the site of an inflammatory stimulus was also significantly reduced. This activity was lost if the glycogen extract was treated with KOH or proteinase K, suggesting that the anti-inflammatory properties resided within a protein moiety associated with the glycogen.