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   May 07

Green mussels ‘can relieve the pain of arthritis’: Extract from the variety can ease pain and stiffness by a third

Healing properties of green lipped mussels noted more than 100 years ago

Around 10 million Britons suffer from joint problems every day

Arthritis sufferers had pain and stiffness relieved by more than 30 per cent using an extract from green lipped mussels, say researchers.

The greatest rate of improvement came in the first two weeks, according to a new trial.

But the benefits to hips and knees continued for three months while patients were taking the Regenovex capsules.

The joint healing properties of green lipped mussels were first noticed more than 100 years ago by Maoris in New Zealand, where they are sustainably harvested

The joint healing properties of green lipped mussels were first noticed more than 100 years ago by Maoris in New Zealand, where they are sustainably harvested.

The capsules also contain hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found in the fluid lubricating joints in the body and is also used by doctors to tackle joint pain.

Around 10 million Britons suffer from joint problems every day, and it costs the UK £5.7billion a year.

In the latest US study, 53 people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee or hip were recruited by community physicians working in Reading, Lancaster, New York City and Dallas.

The patients asked to take Regenovex, a food supplement, for three months, and their symptoms were recorded at the start, monthly and two weeks after the trial was completed.

Their pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving was reported using a well-established scale known as the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index.

The total scores improved by more than 30 per cent during the trial, when compared with their initial scores.

The biggest fall of 15 per cent occurred during the first two weeks of taking the capsules.

The score for ‘global functioning – the ability to move more easily – improved by 14.2 per cent over the three-month period.

Only two weeks after stopping the capsules, total scores rose by 10 per cent.

The study was managed by a clinical trial company and funded by the Mentholatum Company, which makes the product.

Dr Emma Derbyshire a senior lecturer in Human Nutrition at Manchester Metropolitan University, said green lipped mussels are a potent source of an essential fatty acid known as eicosatetaenoic acid (ETA) and have a powerful anti-inflammatory action.

She said people might be sceptical about supplements causing a marked improvement to joint pain, but there was scientific evidence supporting the use of green lipped mussels and other marine oils.

Regenovex capsules: Omega oils have an anti-inflammatory effect and this supplement contains green-lipped mussel extract, which is particularly rich in them

Degeneration of the joints also related to the quantity and quality of hyaluronic acid present, she added.

‘As a nation we eat too little fish but the reason for calling them essential fatty acids is because they are not produced in the body, they have to come from dietary sources or as supplements.

‘There is now good evidence this kind of supplementation helps people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis, although it’s unlikely to work for patients with severe joint problems. It’s best to catch it early.

‘More research is needed into optimal levels, but most people’s diet is deficient as a result of our under-consumption of fish’ she said.

New Zealander Matthew Jamieson, who now lives near Glasgow where he works in marketing, eats green lipped mussels because of the health benefits.

He said ‘It’s well known in New Zealand that green lipped mussels have health benefits, and they taste good, but they’re not always easy to get hold of.

‘I’m quite sporty, and being 37 in June feel I’ve got to take some preventive action to help my joints and it’s easier to take capsules.’

A spokesman for medical research charity Arthritis Research UK said: ‘Although we don’t really understand how green-lipped mussel works, we do know that extracts contain omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, minerals and carbohydrates.

‘Omega-3 fatty acids are important for maintaining cell structure and function, so this could explain how and why it works in some people. ‘We recently reviewed the clinical trial data for green lipped mussel and found that there is some promising evidence to suggest that it works.

‘As a result we awarded it an effectiveness score of three (out of five). Apart from causing nausea and flatulence in some people it appears to be reasonably well-tolerated.’

Source: Daily Mail

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