While no drug has been found to cure arthritis, many drugs reduce pain and inflammation, and some have shown promise in slowing the progression of the disease. The arsenal of drugs being used to provide relief from the debilitating symptoms of arthritis include Analgesics, or painkillers, as well as corticosteroid therapy, nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), immuno-suppressants, biologic response modifiers, and drugs genetically engineered to interfere with the immune response. However, relief may come at a high price, as all of these types of drugs can cause serious side effects. Weighing the potential benefits and risks presents a challenge for both the patient and the doctor. Nevertheless, due to high level of uncertainty and high-cost involved in most treatment options available, it is quite common to see arthritis sufferers – tired of running pillar to post from one treatment to other – often give-up and resort to a life dependant on pain-killers knowing that in the long-run, this relief may come at a high price. 

As new scientific research uncovers the mysteries of the Seas, the New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (GLM), a shellfish found off the coast of New Zealand seems to contain the therapeutic agents needed to treat arthritic problems. This revolutionary therapy has already benefited millions of users around the world and is now also available in India. Since its discovery in 1974, Green Lipped Mussel Extract (GLME) has now been subjected to more than forty years of quality scientific research and proven in laboratory and clinical trials, to be effective in treating both rheumatoid and osteo forms of arthritis.

The benefit comes as relief from pain and improvement in general mobility. Usually the improvement in these conditions is gradual and progressive; it is also usually long lasting and not temporary. Normally, the first thing to be noticed is a reduction in pain, which is then followed by gradual improvement in grip strength, freedom of movement or other mobility. Besides, it does not have the classical adverse side effects generally associated with drug therapy.

The reason for the benefit is that GLME contains anti-inflammatory agents, immune modulators and many essential building blocks – proteins, minerals, glycosaminoglycans and marine long chain fatty acids – all naturally occurring substantial therapeutic agents known to maintain joint mobility & well being and needed to rebuild collagen, proteoglycans and synovial fluid found in the joints, ligaments and tendons.

It is important to note that GLME contains a natural content of glycosaminoglycans. This is the name for a group of polysaccharides which includes chondroitin sulphate, dermatan sulphate, hyaluronic acid etc. These glycosaminoglycans are used by the body for the biosynthesis of compounds called proteoglycans. The proteoglycans have a very strong affinity for water molecules in the joints, to which they bind, and form very large, slippery, space filling molecules. The function of these large combination molecules is to act as shock absorbers and also lubricants in the joints. Thereby reducing pain considerably, and that too without any adverse side effects of classical drug therapy.

GLME manufactured by Healtheries of New Zealand is now available in India through their Authorised representatives – Perma Healthcare. The cost for this therapy of 1000mg/day comes to Rs 50/- per day for first three months, which can be later reduced to 500 mg/day, i.e. Rs 25/- per day.