Greenshell™ for Osteoarthritis

Public Summary

Principal investigators: Professor Marlena Kruger and Professor Pamela von Hurst, Massey University | Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa
Industry partners: Cawthron Institute, Sanford Limited, University of Otago
High-Value Nutrition funding: $220,000


Greenshell™ for Osteoarthritis

Symptomatic osteoarthritis is the leading cause of disability in older adults. Progress and presentation of the disease can vary among individuals. Still, there is a common pathway of joint structure pathogenesis, suggesting a standard treatment in the disease’s early stages. At present, there is no effective therapy for osteoarthritis, meaning the market for a clinically tested Greenshell™ mussel product is both extensive and yet to be exploited.

Building on the Musseling Up 1.0 programme’s key novel findings and under the umbrella of the follow-up Musseling Up 2.0 programme, this proposed randomised, placebo-controlled trial (RCT) will recruit individuals presenting with subclinical osteoarthritis. It will investigate the effects of Greenshell™ mussel dietary supplementation, compared to placebo, over six months. The trial is novel in both its population group and its range of outcome measures, including joint health biomarkers, inflammatory status, measures of functionality, pain, and quality of life. The proposed trial will add evidence specific to a population with subclinical osteoarthritis, healthy and undiagnosed but starting to show signs that they are at risk of the disease.

The impact of this research will be through the addition to- and confirmation of- the portfolio of health claims connecting Greenshell™ mussel effects to both physiological signs of osteoarthritis and joint health, such as cartilage biomarkers and inflammation, and symptoms like pain and functionality. Adding to research already undertaken in the Musseling up 2.0 programme, the impact of all this research combined will be the economic growth for New Zealand aquaculture sector through validated health claims.

High-Value Nutrition is one of the eleven National Science Challenges. The Challenge has a $45.6 million budgeted research investment for 2019-2024.

View the collaborating partner websites:

Cawthron Institute New Zealand | Sanford Limited | University of Otago

Research Team

Professor Marlena Kruger

Marlena Kruger is an established researcher with a strong background in bone health research. She is widely published in this area.

Marlena has a strong track record in research on food for health and well-being with a focus on maintenance of mobility with ageing.

Her research includes both in vitro and in vivo assessments so she can progress investigations from cell-based screening, to testing in preclinical models followed by human intervention studies.

Professor Pamela von Hurst

Pamela is a human nutritionist with a growing portfolio of research experience including clinical trials and population studies. Her interests include vitamin D in health and disease, child health and nutrition, bone, metabolic syndrome and physical activity.

Pamela is also Co-director of Massey’s Vitamin D Research Centre.