Systematicreview of the nutritional supplement PernaCanaliculus (green-lipped mussel) in the treatment of osteoarthritis

September 14, 2009

Researchers at the University of Southampton, Aldermoor Health Centre, Southampton UK have reviewed studies on the Perna Canaliculus green lipped mussel because they are seeking a treatment for painful arthritis that is free of toxicity and side effects. In this systematic review the efficacy of the nutritional supplement Perna Canaliculus (green-lipped mussel, GLM) was evaluated for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA). Randomized or quasi-randomized controlled trials (comparative, placebo-controlled or crossover) were considered for inclusion from Cochrane Library, Medline, Embase, Amed, Cinahl, Scopus and NeLH databases where adults with OA of any joint were randomized to receive either GLM vs. placebo, no additional intervention (usual care), or an active intervention. The methodological quality of the trials was assessed using the JADAD scale. Four RCTs were included, three placebo controlled, the fourth a comparative trial of GLM lipid extract vs. stabilized powder extract. All four studies assessed GLM as an adjunctive treatment to conventional medication for a clinically relevant time in mild to moderate OA. All trials reported clinical benefits in the GLM treatment group. The data from the two more rigorous trials, in conjunction with our re-analysis of original data suggests that GLM is superior to placebo for the treatment of mild to moderate OA. As a credible biological mechanism exists for this treatment, further rigorous investigations are required to assess efficacy and optimal dosage. The study is published in the March 2008 issue of the journal QJM; Monthly Journal of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland.