Green-lipped mussel contains minerals, mucopolysaccharides and numerous other constituents; however, the protein and lipid content is considered the most important for pharmacological activity. Virtually all of the protein content is comprised of pernin, a self-aggregating glycoprotein rich in histidine and aspartic acid (Scotti et al 2001).
A Iipid-rich extract, prepared by supercritical fluid (C02) extraction of freeze-dried stabilised NZ green-lipped mussel, is commercially available as Lyprinol. The main lipid classes in this preparation are sterol esters, triglycerides, free fatty acids (mainly EPA and DHA), sterols and phospholipids (Sinclair et al 2000).
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