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Bella Asks About Omega 3 and Flex Sprinkle Joint Care

Bella Asks About Omega 3 and Flex Sprinkle Joint Care

Bella wanted to know if an Omega 3 supplement would give her a bit of extra support for her arthritis as she gets older - in addition to the Flex Sprinkles green lipped mussel she already takes.

Thank you for the question, Bella, it is a good one because it is something that I’m sure is on many owners' minds. If I can paraphrase your question to “How would an Omega 3 supplement compare to a Green Lipped Mussel supplement” then I think there is a clear answer. But first, if you bear with me, a little biochemistry background is needed.

You are right in thinking that Omega 3 fatty acids from marine sources are beneficial, in many areas of both human and canine health. They are proven to reduce inflammation throughout the body and so must surely benefit joints as well. Therefore, it is common for Omega 3 fatty acid supplements such as fish oils to claim they are good for joints. This happens frequently for canine products and less so for human ones.

a tin of fish and fish oil capsules

Human supplements are more controlled than canine ones and the UK still tends to follow the EU rules on this. The European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) controls health claims for food and does not allow any joint health claims for the Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA found in fish.

This is found in EPSA ruling 2010;8(10):1796, 2011;9(4):2078 where only claims for the cardiovascular system, vision, and brain development are accepted.

The reason is that, though there are benefits, they just are not strong enough to justify a health claim. This is confirmed by meta-analysis of all the research done     ( https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/1/42 )  that you can read and whose summary is:

“In conclusion, this meta-analysis suggests a small favorable effect of marine oil in reducing pain in patients with arthritis (SMD < −0.2), but the evidence was of low quality. There is moderate quality evidence for an effect in RA (rheumatoid arthritis) patients. In contrast, the effect was statistically non-significant in patients with OA (osteoarthritis), but our confidence in the estimate is very low.”

Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in some vegetable oils such as flaxseed oil, but bear in mind these are not the beneficial omega 3’s EPA and DHA. Only a tiny amount of flaxseed (about 1%) can be converted to EPA/DHA by the body.

Golden Retriever sitting on a mat for Ace Canine Flex Sprinkle


Green Lipped Mussel (GLM) does contain Omega fatty acids, though they are not exactly the same ones as found in fish oil. GLM contains ETA fatty acid which is thought to be more beneficial than the EPA/DHA acids found in fish oil. The higher the fat content of the green lipped mussel the better. The unique fatty acids in GLM in conjunction with GLM’s other nutrients called glycosaminoglycans (which are just as vital) are what makes it so effective. 




Finally, then, I think it is clear that in the area of joint health, Green Lipped Mussel offers far more than an Omega 3 supplement. GLM is dose dependent and rather than add anything else at this stage we would recommend that you try doubling the current dosage of Flex Sprinkles. 

Do let us know how you get on Bella.  Thank you for your question.


www.ace-canine.com     support@ace-canine.comFlex Sprinkles - Green Lipped Mussel Jointcare for Dogs - Ace Canine Healthcare

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