Green lipped mussel (GLM) is an extremely under-rated supplement for joint support, arthritis, and pain relief. A good GLM supplement should be composed of 100% dried mussel, will be a brownish-green powder, and will smell fishier than a wharf.
Our oldest dog, Allie, began having difficulty going up the stairs in our new house two years ago. We started giving green lipped mussel to her daily—the results were incredible. Within a few days, she went from having to take frequent breaks while going up the stairs, to sprinting up them.
The main benefit of GLM is that it is a whole food source of glucosamine and chondroitin which makeup and help repair bones and cartilage. Synthetic glucosamine and chondroitin can be harder for the body to absorb, whereas GLM is a real food with a much higher bioavailability and absorption rate. Because of this, the dose required is minimal compared with other joint supplements, 15 mg of powder per pound of body weight. Many glucosamine supplements are made from corn which is often genetically modified and more difficult for carnivores to break down. Being a whole food, GLM also contains vitamins, minerals, Omega-3s, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants, and a variety of other nutrients.
While most often used for musculoskeletal issues, GLM is also useful for treating other conditions because of its primary effect of reducing inflammation in the body. It has a gastroprotective effect and so can be a good option for animals given non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs, like Metacam, are commonly given to dogs with joint pain and arthritis so adding in some GLM is a great idea. The mussels are also known to be high in antioxidants which fight free radicals in the body preventing them from causing cellular damage. Free radicals have also been found in high concentrations in the synovial (joint) fluid of arthritic animals.
Green lipped mussel is a powerhouse superfood that can benefit dogs (and cats) of all life stages.