Today we examine some of the advantages of a little-known mollusc known as New Zealand Green Lipped Sea Mussel, also known as Kuku. Green-lipped mussel is a nutritional supplement taken from Perna canaliculus, a bivalve mollusc (mussel) native to New Zealand’s shores. These shellfish first become noticed when studying the native Maoris of New Zealand. They were observed to be able to complete demanding physical work even in old age without noticeable signs of arthritis. This began many years of research and other benefits being noted. These range from; arthritis to the GI tract. New Zealand mussel farming is a highly monitored and very regulated industry. As it can only take place in designated areas of pristine coastal ocean, green-lipped mussels live and grow in an unpolluted, natural environment. Also, because green-lipped mussels are only farmed at accredited marine facilities, the presence of mercury, sometimes found in other oily fish, is not an issue.
The oil removed from green lipped mussels is rich in Omega 3s, an incredibly powerful health supplement link. The nutrients from these mussels can also be extracted in a powder form which is also extremely effective at dealing with inflammatory illnesses and joint pain and has been shown to have effectiveness in treating several other conditions.
- Reduction of Inflammation – One of the most well-known and wildly reported advantages of the Green Lipped Mussel is a reduction of inflammation most typically in the joints. It is theorised that this relief could stem from the Omega 3’s found within the mussel; specifically, Omega-3 called Eicosatetraenoic Acid (ETA). The ETA in the mussels has been established to have exceedingly rich anti-inflammatory properties, more so than any other Omega-3 sources, including fish oil. One study reported “Results: Patients treated with Sea Mussel showed a statistically significant improvement in both their pain symptoms related to osteoarthritis and improved quality of their daily lives... No side effects were observed in patients who took Sea Mussel (p < 0.05). Patients treated with fish oil showed greatly less improvement and a greater level of physical discomfort caused by the fish oil during the study (Table VI).” (Szechiński and Zawadzki, 2017)
- Asthma - Some early research suggests that dosing with green lipped sea mussel can also have a beneficial effect on asthma suffers. Timothy Mickleborough and his team of researchers found a 59% improvement in lung function in the study group that consumed 72 mg of omega-3 from EPA and 48 mg of DHA. They said the results were similar to fish oil sourced omega-3s, but lower dosages were required of the green-lipped mussel omega-3 source. Another study showed similar promising results Out of the 40 patients, 30 were given two capsules of Lyprinol (a favourite brand of green lipped mussel oil) twice daily for eight weeks. The remaining ten were given a placebo. Patients recorded daytime wheeze, nocturnal awakenings from asthma, and daily use of inhaled rescue medication. Positive results were apparent by day 26. (Cook, 2017)
- Protecting the GI tract – One of the other areas of benefit researchers have investigated when it comes to the mussel is Gastroprotective. One study on animals showed significant reduction of gastric ulcerogenicity of several non-steroid anti-inflammatories. If you’re already taking a NSAID for arthritis or joint pain, green lipped sea mussel may be of benefit to help reduce the risk of gastric upset. (MW, 2017)
- Immune system – New Zealand green lipped mussel powder may aid the body’s ability to fight both viral and bacterial infections, as well as improving the production of antibodies, supporting wound healing. And since it supports healthy inflammation management, it has the possibility to help manage healthy bacteria in the gut, where 80 percent of the immune system lies.
Green Lipped Mussels Side Effects
There doesn't appear to have been any reports of negative interactions regarding green lipped mussel oil and any prescription drugs, over the counter medications or other nutritional supplements. However, as with any supplement, some people have reported adverse effects usually consisting of stomach upset i.e. diaherra. Although these cases are relatively rare. This being said we suggest you always consult with your physician before taking a new supplement or remedy especially if you’re currently taking a prescribed medication.
In osteoarthritis trials, dosages ranged from 1,150 to 1,500 mg/day of the stabilised lipid extract Lyprinol, and 900 to 1,380 mg/day of the Seatone preparation. In a dose-escalation study, 1,560 to 4,160 mg/day of Lyprinol was used. Less is needed 300 – 500mg, for non-arthritis related cases. The greatest rate of improvement came in the first two weeks, according to a new trial.
Hopefully, we’ve shone some light on this lesser known supplement with a range of benefits. As always we suggest that you experiment with New Zealand Green Lipped Sea Mussel yourself and see if it works for you aiding in any of the alignments listed above. If you’d like to try a supplement which contains this ingredient and more we offer A&K’s Guardian. A joint supplement that contains this and a whole lot more to protect your joints and ligaments.
- Szechiński, J. and Zawadzki, M. (2017). [online] Termedia.pl. Available at: https://www.termedia.pl/-Original-paper-Measurement-of-pain-relief-resulting-from-the-administration-of-Perna-canaliculus-lipid-complex-PCSO-524-as-compared-to-fish-oil-for-treating-patients-who-suffer-from-osteoarthritis-of,18,17171,0,1.html [Accessed 4 Jul. 2017].
- Cook, M. (2017). Treating Asthma and Inflammation with Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Finding. [online] Bewellnaturallyguide.com. Available at: http://www.bewellnaturallyguide.com/treating-asthma-and-inflammation-with-omega-3-fatty-acids-important-findings/ [Accessed 4 Jul. 2017].
- MW, R. (2017). Gastroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties of green lipped mussel preparation. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7194074 [Accessed 4 Jul. 2017].
- Drugs.com. (2017). New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussel Uses, Benefits & Dosage - Drugs.com Herbal Database. [online] Available at: https://www.drugs.com/npp/new-zealand-green-lipped-mussel.html [Accessed 4 Jul. 2017].
- PHOTO CREDIT: http://www.bewellnaturallyguide.com/5-remarkable-green-lipped-mussel-benefits/