Lyprinol, or the supplement derived from New Zealand green-lipped mussels, has mild side effects in the form of diarrhea, nausea and gas, according to WebMD. In rare cases, it is associated with liver problems. It is linked to delays in the development of fetuses and delayed births.
Lyprinol is used to treat asthma, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, reports WebMD. Lyprinol is believed to be especially helpful when treating asthma, reducing daytime wheezing and improving some people's breathing, but there is insufficient evidence to support these claims.
Lyprinol's medicinal benefits have not been widely studied, according to Sheila A. Doggrell, writing for Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. While it is touted for its anti-inflammatory benefits, especially for athletes, a 2002 study reported that asthma symptoms decreased because Lyprinol improved lung function. It is not recommended as an alternative treatment to asthma or as a replacement for steroid treatments. However, because Lyprinol has very few side effects, using it as a supplement is not discouraged.
Lyprinol and New Zealand green-lipped mussels can trace their medicinal origins back to folklore, according to Doggrell. Supposedly, the Maori of New Zealand consumed these mussels often, and their population was significantly less affected by arthritis compared to their inland counterparts. Sometimes colloquially referred to as the "miracle from the sea," Lyprinol's anti-inflammatory effects have been greatly exaggerated; during the '90s, it was marketed as an anti-cancer agent.