Inflammatory diseases are more often than not pushed aside when it comes to health conditions. Most can be mild with little impact, but it is essential to diagnose and treat accordingly to prevent it worsening and leading to long term consequences.
One of the most common inflammatory conditions globally is arthritis. It is a condition which causes joint pains and in most cases, pain and long term complications. More common form of it is known as osteoarthritis.
More than 27 million people in the USA are diagnosed and suffer with osteoarthritis every year. The risk of developing the condition increases with age, especially those over 60 years old.
There are numerous medications in the pharmaceutical industry which can help treat it. However, the supplement market is now, more than ever, easier to access and rely on. One of the primary solutions for inflammation is omega-3 fatty acids, which is found in fatty fash.
Today we will be discussing the benefits and uses of green lipped mussel superfood, a shellfish extract that has had great success in the industry for its efficacy on inflammation and various other health concerns.
Many clinical trials and studies report intake of green lipped mussels is associated with the reduced risk of inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis. Let’s find out more:
What is Green Lipped Mussel?
Green lipped mussels are native to New Zealand and are a part of the perna canaliculus family of mussels. They get their name from its green pigment colour on the lip or edge of the shell. They are profound for their juicy and plump flesh, which is what is used to manufacture green lipped mussel supplements.
The reason for it becoming so popular was after researchers found that the Maori people of New Zealand’s coastal regions suffered less joint pain and issues than those that lived on the mainland in city areas. Since its discovery, it is now manufactured and sold in the Western world as a supplement to help with bone tissue and cartilage to improve joint issues like osteoarthritis.
Marine oils are essential for the diet in order for the body to consume a healthy amount of fatty acids. Fatty acids, like omega-3s found in green lipped mussels, are beneficial for many inflammation conditions. Due to the mix of fatty acids, amino acids and other compounds, green lipped mussel is primarily beneficial for inflammation of the joints.
With the main function of green lipped mussels being joint inflammation reduction and maintenance, let’s discuss further the effect is has and how it functions:
Green Lipped Mussel: main function
Green lipped mussel is used in supplements for its bone tissue and cartilage strengthening properties, which helps with inflammation of the joints. It is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and glycoproteins which helps with inflammation and knee pain relief.
Most studies suggest that green lipped mussels are effective for general joint inflammation and osteoarthritis. There is not yet enough evidence to suggest that it can assist with other joint conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Studies show that green lipped mussels are as effective as other nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. Inflammation of joints is what causes osteoarthritis and pain. Drugs can improve pain and reduce swelling, as can green lipped mussel supplements.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in green lipped mussels are the main active component and reason for the marine species being beneficial for osteoarthritis. They help strengthen and maintain the cartilage, tissue and elasticity of joints. When these parts of the bone and cartilage start to thin and weaken, this is when osteoarthritis begins. Slowing down this process or stopping its development can inhibit the joint pain and condition.
Other than osteoarthritis, green lipped mussel supplements can help general arthritis and non-medical joint swelling and pain.
You may wonder how green lipped mussels actually work, here is more:
How does Green Lipped Mussel work?
There is not yet enough evidence to suggest how green lipped mussels work as an anti-inflammatory. However, there is an abundance of research for its main active components and their effect on inflammation.
For example, omega-3 fatty acids have been studied to investigate their efficacy on inflammation and in particular, chronic inflammation conditions such as osteoarthritis. The results concluded to be positive in that omega-3’s are beneficial for inflammation and reducing the swelling, pain and threat.
Omega-3’s are a polyunsaturated fat. Another study looked at the overall effectiveness of polyunsaturated fats, like omega-3’s, for conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and asthma. Results showed that with a high intake of polyunsaturated fats, which you obtain from green lipped mussel supplements, can reduce the effect of these conditions and the inflammation which causes pain and discomfort.
Other components included in the composition of green lipped mussels which help with inflammation are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These two acids have been considered key for the significant reduction of inflammation and are the two main fatty acids found in omega-3’s. A recent study found that DHA is more effective at reducing inflammation than EPA, but both play a key role.
Its main role is to reduce inflammation for arthritic conditions and the way it does this is through its fatty acid content. There are other compounds that play a role in its benefits but the fatty acids are the main active anti-inflammatory properties.
The vitamin and mineral content is abundant in green lipped mussels, but they do not necessarily play a key role in fighting inflammation. Instead, they generally support bone health as opposed to treating the inflammatory conditions.
Now you understand a bit more about how the ingredients work together and how effective they are, next is to explore the manufacturing process:
The manufacturing process of Green Lipped Mussels
Green lipped mussels were harvested from the New Zealand coastline manually up until 1960 when the demand grew. Since, the Japanese longline system of harvesting came into effect. This method involves a longline being cast out into the open waters. The green lipped mussels find, attach and grow on the line and whilst growing, they require no food except the pristine clear New Zealand waters.
During the 1970’s, green lipped mussels were heavily harvested and shipped to the USA. In 1981, these large shipments stopped overnight due to strict drug legislation laws coming into effect. After this, the mussels have since been harvested and frozen and are now legal safe to ship, which quickly became the prime export method.
Once harvested from the waters, the mussels can only live for a few hours so during this time the mussels are processed for freezing and then sent across the world for supplement use.
The growing and harvesting process is all natural, sustainable and equally great for the environment. To be made into a supplement, the contents of the green lipped mussel is extracted, freeze dried, ground and put into a capsule. There are no toxins or chemicals consumed or added to the mussels before export.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise consider green lipped mussel extract to be one of the most effective natural anti-inflammatory and joint supplements available. It is now shipped to over 80 countries and the world’s biggest markets.
Find out more about what green lipped mussel supplements are composed of here:
Nutrition Facts of Green Lipped Mussel
Green lipped mussel supplements are composed of several active anti-inflammatory ingredients, just the same as raw green lipped mussels. The main active properties are glycoproteins, omega-3 fatty acids and furan fatty acids.
It also contains essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for joint conditions which includes vitamin C and E, zinc, copper and selenium. All chemicals, vitamins and minerals contribute to joint and bone health.
Glycoproteins are proteins that have sugars attached to them. These sugars are the active component which works to reduce joint inflammation. They are also studied and proven to have benefits for the immune system as they increase response and reactiveness to reduce the effectiveness of bad bacteria and foreign invaders.
The essential omega-3 fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory effects, which helps reduce inflammation and can inhibit inflammation and conditions like osteoarthritis occuring in the first place.
Research found that green lipped mussels also contain other active anti-inflammatory ingredients which are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These are part of the omega-3 fatty acids typically found in fish oil and hold many benefits for inflammation of the body, including the eyes, bowels, brain and heart. Your body can only make a small amount of these fatty acids so it is important to consume them from other sources, like green lipped mussel supplements.
There is also an acid that is not found in many marine species and oil called eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA), which decreases the production of cyclooxygenase, an enzyme which influences inflammation. This acid assists the decline and slow development of pain, inflammation of joints to help mobility.
The concentration of the acids found in green lipped mussels is greater than other marine oils, therefore you need less of them to reap the benefits.
Green lipped mussels also contain furan fatty acids which help inhibit the production of immune chemicals which cause inflammation. Furan fatty acids are an antioxidant that have been medically assessed for their anti-inflammation benefits and are proven to be effective.
Its makeup of minerals, vitamins, omega-3’s and antioxidants may make green lipped mussels be considered to some as a superfood. The nutritious value is greater than other marine oils and these components can be beneficial for other areas of health too.
Whilst all ingredients are considered to be natural and therefore safe, you may be wondering its pros and cons:
Pros and Cons of Green Lipped Mussel
Like all natural produce and extractions made into supplements, there will be some pros and cons. They may differ from person to person but it is important to acknowledge the advantages and disadvantages of the product.
|Reduces inflammation of joints
|Mild side effects
|Benefits arthritis and osteoarthritis patients
|Can cause bloating/gas
|Helps sore muscles
|May be unsafe for pregnant women
|Helps with asthmatic symptoms
|All natural and safe ingredients/compounds
|No interactions with other medications
With those pros and cons in mind, below is a focus on the scientific research and studies for the effectiveness of green lipped mussel:
Uses of Green Lipped Mussel for Humans
As well as benefiting arthritic patients, with general arthritis and osteoarthritis, green lipped mussel supplements can benefit other health and medical conditions.
Asthma patients can also benefit from taking green lipped mussel supplements. This chronic illness causes wheezing and shortness of breath due to inflammation of the lungs. It is an illness that has spiked in recent years and although prescription medication and equipment can help treat symptoms, ingredients found in those medications have been implemented into store purchasable supplements.
Studies have shown that omega-3’s, which are found in green lipped mussels and other fish oils, can reduce symptoms of asthma in young children and adults.
Muscle soreness is caused by inflammation of the muscles a day or more after exercise. To prevent or reduce swelling of the affected areas, fish oil extracts can help. Green lipped mussels main function is to reduce inflammation and studies over recent years have shown that male exercise participants can benefit from taking the supplement prior to exercising.
The polyunsaturated fatty acids work to reduce inflammation pre workout and the reduction of inflammation can be sustained by taking green lipped mussel supplements everyday. The results concluded that those who took green lipped mussel capsules had less muscle soreness, fatigue and pain.
Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, abbreviated to ADHD, causes people to lack attention and have increased hyperactivity. Studies found that people who suffer with ADHD typically have lower levels of polyunsaturated fats in their blood.
With green lipped mussels containing a high percentage of polyunsaturated fats, they are beneficial for ADHD patients to take to increase the levels in their blood. A randomised study found that boys with ADHD who took green lipped mussel capsules saw significant improvements in ADHD related symptoms and the severity of them.
With that, a recent study found that fish oil supplements are one of the most effective in reducing ADHD symptoms, especially inattention and hyperactivity.
Due to the main active compounds found in green lipped mussels, especially the omega-3 content, scientists have been researching the effect on cancer. The research is a phase one study into the efficacy of green lipped mussel extract on breast and prostate cancer patients. As of yet, the research is not conclusive enough to suggest that the extract has a guaranteed effect on cancer however some results showed positive results.
Now you understand more on the uses of green lipped mussel and how it works, let’s talk a look at who exactly it’s for:
Who is Green Lipped Mussel for?
Those who will benefit most from green lipped mussel supplements are those with existing health conditions which it can improve and treat.
Currently, there is enough sufficient evidence to prove it can benefit arthritis, osteoarthritis, muscle soreness and asthma, as discussed above.
Although the primary sufferers of arthritic conditions are those above 60, there are other benefits of green lipped mussels. Therefore, other ages and health conditions can benefit from taking it. It is deemed safe to take orally for children 6 years and above.
There is not yet enough evidence to prove if it is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women to take. Therefore, if you wish to take green lipped mussels and are unsure of any dangers, seek advice from your doctor. Take precaution before taking green lipped mussel supplements as well as any other supplement to ensure it will not pose any danger.
Green lipped mussel supplements are beneficial for anyone with the existing conditions it can improve and treat.
Find here the dosage recommendations and advice:
Dosage: How to use Green Lipped Mussel
It is important to understand the recommended dosage to be aware of any side effects, risk or hazards that may occur from taking the product. It may differ from person to person, but here is an general guideline:
When to start and stop?
As green lipped mussel supplements are manufactured from the pure natural ingredients of the shellfish, they are safe to start taking when preferred. For those who are concerned about existing medical or lifestyle conditions that may interact with the supplement, seek medical advice before consumption.
If you notice any symptoms or side effects when taking them, it is advised to stop immediately and consult a doctor.
What is the dosage to respect?
Typically, green lipped mussel supplements come in 500mg capsules. There is not yet a recommended daily intake as each brand may have different sized capsules.
However, arthritic patients saw results when taking 1,150mg to 1,500mg per day in divided doses. A rough estimate of most branded supplements recommend two capsules per day totalling to 1,000mg of green lipped mussel.
Can you overdose on Green Lipped Mussel?
As green lipped mussel supplements are composed of natural ingredients, an overdose would cause no serious harm. However, it may increase the chance or severity of side effects. It is recommended to stick to the daily dosage recommendation on the bottle. Again, if you do notice side effects from taking the capsules, discontinue usage and consult your doctor.
Are they any precautions or contraindications?
There has not yet been any reports of medication contraindications whilst taking green lipped mussels. However, it is not guaranteed that they are 100% safe to take if you are taking medication, are pregnant, breastfeeding or have any existing health conditions. Seek professional advice before use.
With that in mind, here is more information on the risks and side effects of taking green lipped mussel capsules:
Risk and Side Effects of Green Lipped Mussel
To ensure safety of the product you are consuming, always choose a supplement which has been manufactured to a high pharmaceutical standard which will be labelled as GMP. This will guarantee the product is legitimate and made by a verified company.
From legitimate green lipped mussel supplement consumption, reported side effects have been minimal but worth noting. The side effects that can occur include:
- Temporary worsening of arthritis pain
For those with an allergy or sensitivity to shellfish, consumption is strictly not advised. With little to no side effects or risks from frequent use, there is little to report. This does not guarantee that consumption is 100% safe and users should take precautions before purchasing and consuming.
For purchasing advice, find more here:
The complete buying guide for Green Lipped Mussel
Understanding that there are non-legitimate products on the market is essential to avoid purchasing any unverified and potentially unsafe products.
Where to buy?
Green lipped mussel supplements can be purchased online and in-store at Amazon, Walmart, Holland & Barrett and iMart. It is best to purchase from a verified store to ensure the product is genuine.
Things to look out for
To confirm the legitimacy of the product, is it advised to look for a GMP label and verification of ingredients list to ensure safety.
Another thing to look out for is that the product is High Grade New Zealand Sourced Green Mussel Supplement. The companies who source the green lipped mussels verify they are safe for human consumption and this will be noted on the product.
The typical market price for green lipped mussel supplements is around $10 to $15. Brands usually sell them in bottles of 80 to 100 capsules. It is not necessary to spend more than this as all genuine products provide the same results.
Here are some user reviews from frequent consumers:
Green Lipped Mussel Reviews
Here are some user reviews of the most popular green lipped mussel capsules on Amazon by Troo Health Care. Reviews have been taken from one brand and this one in particular as it is the most popular and one for recommendation. Overall, the capsules have 4.5 star reviews and for human consumption, most use them for arthritic pain.
Most reviews report that the capsules successfully reduced pain and swelling for the arthritic affected areas. From the reviews, it seems users notice results after around 10 to 14 days of daily consumption.
These reviews are supported by the continuous positively concluded studies and research on the effectiveness of the nutritional supplement.
For reviews of other fish oils, like OmegaXL, read more in our article here.
If you have anymore questions or concerns, here are the top frequently asked questions that may answer those:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is green lipped mussel a blood thinner?
Green lipped mussels can cause the blood to thin, but only if taken alongside a blood thinning medication. For the most part, it is safe but precautions should be taken if you are taking a blood thinning medication such as warfarin. Seek medical advice before taking green lipped mussels to prevent any dangers.
How long does it take a green lipped mussel to work?
From scientific research and user reviews, both suggest the results are noticeable after 10 to 14 days of daily use. The most effective results will be after several weeks of use and to sustain them, it is recommended to continue daily use.
Is green lipped mussel better than fish oil?
The fatty acid content, mainly EPA, found in green lipped mussels is much more potent and concentrated than other fish oils. This means that a lower dose is needed to attain its benefits. This is not to say green lipped mussel oil is better than fish oil, but a smaller dosage can provide more benefits.
To read more about the uses of fish oil, our article may be useful.
Are green lipped mussels high in cholesterol?
All shellfish like mussels, oysters and clams are beneficial for reducing bad cholesterol. Like the rest, green lipped mussels are rich in zinc and selenium, both minerals that can help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL’s) and increase good cholesterol (HDL’s). Therefore, green lipped mussels are not only good for cholesterol but can help improve it.
Does green lipped mussel contain glucosamine?
Glucosamine is an amino sugar that holds great benefits for joints and their mobility. It is an amino sugar which is naturally occuring in green lipped mussels and makes them very valuable and effective for joint conditions.
How much omega-3 is in green-lipped mussel?
Mussels are not only delicious, but they are also rich in omega 3 supplements. For every 1000 mg of green-lipped mussel, there are 9 to 28 mg of Omega-3 EPA and 0.3 mg of Omega-3 ETA.
How much chondroitin is in green lipped mussels?
Green lipped mussel is rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients including omega-3 acids and chondroitin sulfate. For every 1000mg, mussel contains 150mg of chondroitin sulfate.
Is green-lipped mussel high in phosphorus?
Green-lipped mussel only contains 0.99% of phosphorus. This is to limit effects for those with kidney problems.
Can you eat green lipped mussels raw?
Thoroughly cook your mussels before eating them. Raw or undercooked mussels have bacteria that could cause illness. A mussel will pop open its shell when steamed or boiled. It is also firm in texture.
Which part of mussel is not edible?
The meat inside the shell is the only edible part of a mussel. Anything else isn’t fit for consumption.
Now you know more about the uses of green lipped mussel, how it works and research studies proving its efficacy, let’s tell you our final thoughts:
Green lipped mussel capsules can offer great health benefits. They may not offer as many joint health benefits as other joint health supplement, but they target specific needs and are effective for those.
Research shows they are effective for arthritic conditions, asthma and ADHD and are highly recommended as a method to improve symptoms.
They are naturally sourced sustainable shellfish which are not blended with other ingredients when manufactured into capsules, making them equally as natural and sustainable for human consumption. The guaranteed safety and legitimacy of the product is easy to recognise with GMP and High Grade New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel Supplement labelling.
Not only are they affordable, the extract gives little to no side effects and does not interact with other medications, making them safe for a pain-free recovery. To ensure safety, purchase from a genuine seller and seek advice from your doctor to ensure you do not have any existing medical conditions that could cause harm with consumption.
If you have any more queries or comments, please leave them with us.