If you have a dog, it is only natural you want him or her to live a long and high-quality life. And yet, many dogs suffer a myriad of health issues as they get older. One of the most widespread of these is osteoarthritis.
This is where green-lipped mussels come in. We will discuss the benefits of green-lipped mussels and why your dog needs them.
What are green-lipped mussels?
Native to New Zealand, green-lipped mussels are the largest representatives of their family. They have a green tint along the edges of their shells. Also known as greenshell mussels, pharmaceutical companies use them in medications in capsule, freeze-dried, or ground forms.
Green-lipped mussel oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Of course, fatty acids are very common ingredients in many health food supplements. Among the most well-studied of all supplements, Omega-3s have potent anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit the heart, joints, skin, and hair.
The green-lipped mussel is also rich in vitamins and minerals, amino acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin. Its unique fatty acid composition and a rich complex of nutrients qualify this mussel as a superfood.
How do green-lipped mussels benefit dogs?
Green-lipped mussels have a range of canine health benefits. They are mostly indicated for the treatment and management of arthritis.
- Fight Pain – dogs taking a green-lipped mussel supplement show evidence of less pain and improvement in joint mobility. These same dogs are able to take a lower dose of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs).
- Help build cartilage – cartilage provides cushioning between the ends of bones that comprise joints. Green-lipped mussels are rich in polysulfated glycosaminoglycans. PGAGs are instrumental in the formation of cartilage and synovial or joint fluid.
- Decrease inflammation – Eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA) is an omega-6 fatty acid only found naturally in green-lipped mussels. It is unusual among the world's compounds in that it binds to cyclooxygenase, an inflammatory enzyme.
- Promote joint metabolism – green-lipped mussels are organic sources of zinc and magnesium as well as glucosamine and chondroitin. Most of you may be familiar with glucosamine and chondroitin as joint supplements that decrease inflammation and help with arthritic pain. With the minerals, they also help joint metabolism by supporting cartilage formation and repairing damaged tissues.
Although green-lipped mussel supplements are almost wholly used as adjuncts for joint therapy, preliminary studies suggest the fatty acid complex could benefit other chronic inflammatory issues. Side effects are minimal except for shellfish allergies. Dogs with known sensitivities should not receive green-lipped mussel supplements.
- Support skin health – chronic skin diseases improve with the ingestion of Omega-3 fatty acids.
- May help respiratory problems – the potent anti-inflammatory properties of green-lipped mussels may help in mild or severe cases of asthma.
- Prevent ulcers – one of the biggest concerns veterinarians have against pharmaceutical NSAIDs is the risk of gastric and intestinal ulcers associated with long-term use. The mussels' anti-inflammatory actions may actually reduce gastrointestinal erosion associated with NSAID irritation.
If you have a dog over eight years old, the chances are high he or she suffers from pain and decreased mobility associated with arthritis. Green-lipped mussels provide effective additives to any joint supplement program. Since they supply general anti-inflammatory effects, your dog could very well enjoy respiratory and skin health benefits from green-lipped mussels as well as joint care.