Biolane Compared to Other Mussel Species


All Mussels Are Not Created Equal – Why Biolane is Effective for Arthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease

Gray, S. K, (SGC) and Croft, J. E. (Scientific Marine), Auckland, New Zealand

Biolane is the original, unique extract from the New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussel. This extract has been the subject of numerous in vitro and in vivo studies, toxicity and teratogenic studies and clinical trials. Biolane has been sold around the world for over 35 years with impressive success in treating both the rheumatoid and osteo forms of arthritic disorders in humans and animals[1]

While there are other Green Lipped mussel products now on the market, Biolane has been proven by independent, high quality science, to inhibit the degenerative processes that take place in joints with aging[2].  The active compounds of  Biolane have multicomponent and multifunctional properties that reduce inflammation, inhibit histamine production and cartilage and joint tissue degeneration.  These functions are due to the unique processing protocols employed in the manufacture of the extract maintaining the bioactive components in their fully active form.[3][4]

Freshly harvested Green Lipped Mussels from a  Biolane farm

Comparison with other Mussel Species

Molluscan bivalves are a high nutrient food source[5].  The green lipped mussel –  Perna canaliculus is native to the New Zealand coastal marine environment and only grown in New Zealand coastal waters.  Biolane is produced only from cultivated Green Lipped Mussels grown in highly regulated marine farms in New Zealand. 

The cultivation process is completely natural and does not involve any chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers or added feed.  The mussels feed entirely from phytoplankton present in the pristine coastal sea waters of New Zealand.  The New Zealand marine farmer’s safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly practices have The mussels used to manufacture Biolane are traceable to the individual farm and moment of harvest, and every batch of Biolane is tested to ensure it meets stringent quality specifications.

Pristine  New Zealand Coastal  Green Lipped Mussel Farm for Biolane production  

There are several mussel species that are harvested for food purposes around the world.  Some of these species are farmed, while others are harvested from wild sources.  These include the Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis), Brown shell mussel (Perna Perna) and the green mussel (Perna viridis).  These mussels are all separate species and very distinct from the Green Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus) which is the only species used to manufacture Biolane.

The Active Components and Pharmacology of Biolane

The principal anti-inflammatory activity in Biolane is due to a carbohydrate complex with an immunomodulatory function that reduces inflammation at a cellular level.[6]

Secondary anti-inflammatory activities are due to the effect of the natural content in Biolane of the omega-3 fatty acids[7] and phospholipids.[8]  Joint protection comes from MMP (matrix metalloprotease) inhibiting components.

As an example of the specificity of Biolane, the carbohydrate that is proven to be anti-inflammatory in Biolane has been shown to be pro-inflammatory in the Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis). [9]

To date there have been no published clinical trials showing that products made from other mussel species are effective for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and degenerative joint disease in humans or animals. 

Biolane has a natural content of glycosaminoglycans which is the name for a group of polysaccharides that include chondroitin sulphate, dermatan sulphate, hyaluronic acid.  These are the building blocks for joint tissue. [10][11]

Active Biolane has Matrix Metalloprotease (MMP) Inhibition.

MMPs are enzymes which degrade bone and cartilage when they become overactive in conditions such as osteoarthritis, and degenerative joint disease, due to mechanical wear and tear and injury and also ageing.  Biolane is the only mussel product shown to inhibit the destructive activity of these enzymes.  No other mussel species have been shown to have this unique property.[12]  This is possibly the most important function of a product used to extend quality of life into old age when the degenerative processes in the body’s joints cause pain and decreased mobility. This feature alone makes Biolane an important choice for people over the age of 50 and for athletes and sports men and women whose joints have been subjected to more than average wear and tear.

Theoretical model for the relationships of aging, oxidative stress, and the development of OA. Aging-related oxidative stress as well as abnormal biomechanical stress results in increased levels of ROS in chondrocytes. The increase in ROS modulates anabolic and catabolic signaling pathways resulting in reduced matrix synthesis, inhibition of growth factor expression, and increased production of MMPs and cytokines that lead to matrix loss and OA. Aging also results in increased formation of AGEs which causes increased fatigue failure of the cartilage that when stressed also contributes to the development of OA.[13]

The Biolane Brand

Consumers need to be certain that the joint health mussel product they purchase is manufactured from an efficacious species of mussel and has retained the effective components in an active form.  The only way people can be certain that they have bought active green lipped mussel is to buy the Biolane brand.  Backed up by decades of scientific and clinical research, grown in a clean and eco-friendly way and manufactured in New Zealand only from New Zealand sourced green lipped mussels, Biolane undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it has retained its activity during the production process.


[1] Biolane Dossier Adis 2002

[2] Wright, D., “Development of a Matrix Metalloproteinase Activity Assay for Extracts of the BiolaneTM Green-Lipped Mussel, Perna canaliculus”, Data on file Vitaco, 2009.

[3] Wright, D., “Development of a Matrix Metalloproteinase Activity Assay for Extracts of the BiolaneTM Green-Lipped Mussel, Perna canaliculus”, Data on file Vitaco, 2009.

[4] Biolane Dossier Adis 2002

[5] USDA SR-21

[6] Miller et al, “Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Glycogen Extracted from Perna canaliculus (NZ Green-Lipped Mussel)”, Agents Actions 38, Special Conference Issue C139-42,  1993.

[7] Murphy KJ, Mann NJ, Sinclair AJ,  “Fatty acid and sterol composition of frozen and freeze-dried New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus) from three sites in New Zealand”, Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, 12(1):50-60, 2003

[8] Kosuge et al, “Isolation of an Anti-histamine Substance from Green-Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus)”, Chem. Pharm. Bull 34(11) 4825-4828, 1986.

[9] Knaus et al, “Pharmacological Properties of Glycogens:  Anti-Complementary and Anti-Inflammatory Action of Mussel Glycogen (Perna canaliculus)”, Department of Immunology Imm2, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California, USA. Institute of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy, University University of Trieste, Italy.  Instititue of Pharmaceutical Biology, University of Munich, Germany. Data on file,  1990.

[10] Slim, G, “Glycosaminoglycan Content of Three Green Lipped Mussel Powder Samples Supplied By Healtheries” , Industrial Research Limited, Wellington, New Zealand,  data on file, 2006.

[11] Roos, E. M., Dahlberg, L’ “Positive Effects of Moderate Exercise on Glycosaminoglycan Content in Knee Cartilage: A Four-Month, Randomized, Controlled Trial in Patients at Risk of Osteoarthritis”, Arthritis Rheum, 52: 3507–3514, 2005.

[12] Wright, D., “Development of a Matrix Metalloproteinase Activity Assay for Extracts of the BiolaneTM Green-Lipped Mussel, Perna canaliculus”, Data on file Vitaco, 2009.

[13] Loeser, R.F., “Aging and Osteoarthritis: The Role of Chondrocyte Senescence and Aging Changes in the Cartilage Matrix”, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 17, (8), Pages 971–979, 2009.

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