A New Healthy Weapon Against Arthritis and Pain

Perna canaliculus, the green lipped mussel
Perna canaliculus, the green lipped mussel
New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels

We’ve seen a spate of back injuries lately, and so it’s prompted me to discuss Perna canaliculus once more.  Perna canaliculus, or Perna for short, is the technical name for the New Zealand green lipped mussel. It is a bivalve mollusk, found exclusively in the intertidal zones around all of New Zealand.

Perna has been known for years as a medicinal nutritional supplement that helps alleviate the signs, symptoms, and ongoing progression of arthritis and osteomyelitis. It is effective in minimizing the inflammation associated with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

Technically, Perna inhibits 5-lipoxygenase, which is necessary for the formation of some of the inflammatory chemicals found in arthritis. By blocking 5-lipoxygenase the inflammatory response is reduced.

Perna canaliculus was discovered when anecdotal evidence led scientists several decades ago to discover that members of the Maori people who lived along New Zealand’s coast suffered fewer cases of rheumatic disorders than those who lived inland. It was also found that Perna was one of the mainstays of the coastal-dwelling Maoris’ diet.

Besides blocking 5-lipoxygenase, Perna also contains high levels of a unique Omega 3 fatty acid called eicosatetraenoic acid, or ETA. Now, we’ve known for a long time that Omega 3 fatty acids in general are very beneficial in the alleviation of pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. However, the usual sources of Omega 3’s are fish and flaxseed, and they contain primarily EPA and DHA Omega 3’s.  And while EPA and DHA are both good, ETA is a much more potent anti-inflammatory than the commonly found Omega 3’s.

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. And importantly, 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.”

Because of its potent anti-inflammatory effects, we strongly recommend that Perna be included in any joint supplement prescribed to help control the pain and inflammation of arthritis, including back pain and inter-vertebral disc disease. It is rare that routine over-the-counter joint products found at pet stores or health food stores contain Perna as one of their ingredients. Typically, you have to go to a health care provider to get this potent supplement.

EZ Joint ChewsOur EZ Joint Chews that we use routinely for arthritis and back issues not only contain glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, but they also contain high levels of Perna and other Omega 3 fatty acids. And unlike most over-the-counter products, they are pharmaceutical grade, insuring the highest level of purity and bioavailability. They come as an extremely tasty chewy treat that most dogs love, and remarkably, are no more expensive than most over-the-counter medications found at the big box pet stores. We highly recommend them for any form of joint condition.

Click here to learn more about arthritis and hip dysplasia in dogs.