Perna canaliculus – scientific name of Green Lipped Mussel

Green Lipped Mussel is a popular new supplement. When I speak with new clients, many “think” they are giving this, but it turns out they are using the oil rather than the extract. In addition, if this product is not harvested and processed immediately by cold live extraction, there won’t be enough active ingredients to make a difference. This is my attempt to get some good information about the best product when choosing a GLM joint supplement.

There is a process that happens in pets with arthritis where an enzyme becomes overly active and breaks down the cartilage. This enzyme, MMP (Matrix Metalloproteinase), is inhibited by the ingredients of green-lipped mussel. The research shows that using the EXTRACT rather than just the OIL is much more effective for pets with osteoarthritis. Other products are often more expensive and utilize a harvesting process that degrades the carbohydrate component, making their end product much less effective! Additionally, it’s common for this to be added as an “ingredient,” therefore claiming all of its therapeutic benefits but not even at a therapeutic dose for the pet. This is tricky! This is the problem with the supplement industry not being very well regulated.

For this reason, I research brands and studies like crazy. My favorite brand that I’ve been using for over two years is OSTEO TruBenefits by Veterinary Recommended Solutions. This supplement has one ingredient! It is backed by double-blind placebo studies showing pets with osteoarthritis benefit from this in as little as ten days in moderate cases and up to 4 weeks in severe cases. I’ve seen it myself so many times, and that’s why I’m publishing this blog. I see a small subset of the population as clients, but more people should know about this. Most of you are spending a lot of money on some sort of supplement for your pet’s arthritis, so consider making it this one- backed by research and effective! (dogs and cats included!)

We have learned that GLM is also a natural source of glucosamine chondroitin sulfate (GCS), which is much less effective than we initially thought. We used to believe that patients with arthritis have less GCS and that giving them more of this would help the arthritis. However, it has now been proven that this is not the case. This is especially true in moderate to severe arthritis -the cartilage is almost gone, so there are not any chondrocytes (cartilage cells) to receive and use the glucosamine chondroitin supplements we are often given by mouth! I can only find one study of glucosamine/chondroitin where they used positive and negative controls, and it doesn’t show that it helped the patients at all. In addition, even the AVMA released a statement warning veterinarians not to push the use of glucosamine chondroitin as there is very little research to back that this is beneficial to our arthritis patients. If you use it at all, I recommend it for a young animal who is a breed that is prone to arthritis. For example, if you have a Golden Retriever who is one year old with no problems, maybe this pet could benefit from some GCS. But it’s not where I spend money on supplementation for my pets and patients.

A bottle with medicine

– supports joint health, function, and mobility

– eases stiffness due to normal daily exercise and activity

– helps maintain and support cartilage and connective tissue

Palatability guarantee:

You will receive a full refund if your pet does not eat the product! You just reach out to VRS, tell them the pet isn’t eating it, and they issue the refund. Easy and risk-free. I have one picky dog, and she swallows it. I have to break it in half for some reason, but that makes her eat it! The tablet smells (and must taste) like seafood/ fish – which makes sense since it’s the oil from a mussel.

Safety/Purity Analysis:

Each batch of Osteo TruBenefitsTM is analyzed for the amount of active ingredient, must meet a minimal level of MMP inhibition, and is heavily scrutinized for any contamination from bacteria and fungal organisms. This information is available to the veterinarian and the pet owner via the VRS quality check portal. (you can type in your product’s lot number and check the testing that was done on that bottle!).

Safety/Purity Analysis details/ specific tests performed:

  • Total Mold & Yeast Count
  • Salmonella
  • Escherichia coli
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • MMP Average % Inhibition: Pass (this equates to a total MMP inhibition score of > or =50, and is correlated with all MMP’s being inhibited between 80-100%).

How long will this product last for your pet?

table with a details

Actual Ingredients:

table with a number of tabs

More scientific info from

  1. Johnson S. Osteoarthritis. Vet Clin Small Anim,12(4),1997.
  2. Lascelles BDX, DePuy V, Thompson A, et al. Evaluation of a Therapeutic Diet for Feline Degenerative Joint Disease. J Vet Intern Med 2010;24:487–495.
  3. KuKanich B. Outpatient Oral Analgesics in Dogs and Cats Beyond Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs: An Evidence-based Approach. Vet Clin Small Anim 43, 2013.
  4. Bui LM. Influence of Green Lipped Mussels(Perna canaliculus) in Alleviating Signs of Arthritis in Dogs. Veterinary Therapeutics, 2, 2001.
  5. Plard B, Guilford WG, et al. Clinical efficacy and tolerance of an extract of green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) in dogs presumptively diagnosed with degenerative joint disease. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 54, 2006.
  6. Hielm-Bjo A, et al. Evaluating Complementary Therapies for Canine Osteoarthritis Part I: Green-lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus). eCAM,6, 2009.
  7. Bierer TL, Bui LM. Improvement of Arthritic Signs in Dogs Fed Green-Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus). J. Nutr. 132, 2002.
  8. Dobenecker B, Beetz Y. A Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind Study on the Effect of Nutraceuticals (Chondroitin Sulfate and Mussel Extract) in Dogs with Joint Diseases as Perceived by Their Owners. J. Nutr. 132, 2002.
  9. Johnston SA, McLaughlin RM, Budsberg SC. Nonsurgical Management of Osteoarthritis in Dogs. Vet Clin Small Anim, 38, 2008.
  10. Vandeweerd JM, et al. Systematic Review of Efficacy of Nutraceuticals to Alleviate Clinical Signs of Osteoarthritis. J Vet Intern Med, 26, 2012.
  11. Budsberg SC, Bartges JW. Nutrition and Osteoarthritis in Dogs: Does It Help? Vet Clin Small Anim, 36, 2006.
  12. Anti-inflammatory activity from Perna Canaliculus (NZ green-lipped mussel) MILLER TE, DODD J, ORMROD DJ, GEDDES R. Agents Actions (1993) 38: C139-C142.
  13. Anti-inflammatory activity in fractionated extracts of the green-lipped mussel. COUCH RAF, ORMROD DJ, MILLER TE & WATKINS WB. NZ Med J (1982) 95: 803-806.
  14. The anti-inflammatory activity of Perna canaliculus (NZ green lipped mussel). MILLER TE & ORMROD D. NZ Med J (1980) 92: 187- 193.
  15. Assessment of anti-inflammatory agents using 125I-labelled human serum albumin to quantify footpad oedema volume. ORMROD DJ, MILLER TE. Pharm Res (1991) 8: 1270-1273.
  16. Proteases involved in cartilage matrix degradation in osteoarthritis. TROEBERG L1, NAGASE H.,Biochim Biophys Acta (2012)1824(1):133-45.

Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.