Green Lipped Mussel FAQs: What Every Consumer Should Know About GLM Supplements
You might have heard of green lipped mussel supplements – how they are effective in alleviating arthritic pain, in reducing joint swelling and how they serve as effective overall nutritional supplements. But some of us may not be fully aware of what this supplement can do. Moreover, with so many brands available in the market, it is quite hard to decide which one is the best. To provide answers to the most common questions about GLM supplement and to also guide you on which brand to choose, here are some green lipped mussel information.
How did the idea of using green lipped mussel as an anti-arthritic pain supplement came about?
For more than 20 years, research studies, mostly from New Zealand and Australia, have been looking at the effects that GLM has on arthritis. The shellfish has been found to have the ability to hinder inflammatory activities. This led to the idea of using the shellfish to control arthritic pain and other inflammation-related conditions. Researchers have also found that, unlike some anti-inflammatory medications, green lipped mussel does not produce adverse effects on people with arthritis.
Does this mean that GLM supplement has no side effects?
Studies have shown that it does not have the same adverse effects as some traditional anti-arthritic or anti-inflammatory drugs since it is mostly a natural supplement, but it is ill-advised for people with shellfish allergies to use this particular supplement for obvious reasons. Those who have a tendency to develop allergic reactions to new foods or new supplements should first consult their doctors before taking GLM supplement to make sure that it is safe for them to do so.
So, how exactly does GLM help people who suffer from arthritis?
Green lipped mussels contain a type of carbohydrate complex that prevents neutrophils from attacking the body’s cells. This action by the neutrophils is what causes inflammation, so preventing it will also reduce or prevent inflammatory conditions. GLM also contains fatty acids that inhibit the activity of cyclo-oxygenase-2. There are actually two forms of cyclo-oxygenase (COX) compounds or enzymes, COX1 and COX2. The first is a natural tissue component and a necessary element that allows the human body to perform as it should. The second is the one responsible for producing pro-inflammatory chemicals or inflammatory prostaglandins. These pro-inflammatory prostaglandins are produced once COX2 is induced; which is induced, in turn, when there is inflammation. Most typical anti-inflammatory medications inhibit COX2 activity to prevent arthritis, but they can also inhibit the activity of COX1, something that is not good since COX1 is necessary to produce prostaglandins that help protect the kidney, the lining of the stomach and the blood. This is where GLM performs better than most anti-inflammatory medications as it only inhibits the activity of COX2 without hindering the function of COX1.
Is green lipped mussel supplement just for alleviating arthritic pain and reducing inflammation, then, or is it useful to take for other reasons?
With GLM supplements, relieving arthritic pain and reducing inflammation are just two of the benefits. They are more often mentioned since these benefits represent a breakthrough, given that joint pain often entails the use of specific drugs. Aside from complex carbohydrates and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, green lipped mussels also contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed to promote overall health. Other well-known benefits of GLM are healthier skin and a healthier circulatory system. Consumption of these mussels has been proven to be effective in strengthening the arterial walls and in improving the flow of blood, thereby promoting healthy circulation. Several studies also report on the benefits provided by this particular shellfish to the immune system, with those consuming GLM showing more resistance against infections and the common cold. Stronger bones and teeth and healthier hair and nails are also part of the benefits. In some studies, researchers have found that green lipped mussel helps increase men’s seminal fluid viscosity and women’s cervical mucus, thereby leading to better fertility levels. Stimulation of various organs, tissue and muscles and improved functions in nerve cells have also been found to be part of the overall health benefits of these mussels. Of course, it will all depend on whether the end product or the final supplement is able to retain all, or most, of the nutrients of the raw mussel. Now that the issue of retaining the nutrients from the raw mussels has been mentioned, the next question will be:
Are all GLM supplements the same? If so, does this mean consumers can just choose whichever they want, regardless of the manufacturer?
Just like in other products, green lipped mussel supplements may all look the same, but it does not mean that they are. As in other product segments, others will be better than some. The sad thing about the green lipped mussel supplement market is that the proven efficacy of GLM in alleviating arthritic pain has resulted in the flood of different brands all claiming to be the best supplement, but the truth is, some of them are less effective and less pure than others. To explain further, all of these brands obviously use green lipped mussels as their base ingredients, but it does not mean that all of them were able to retain the nutritional level offered by raw mussels. You see, use of extreme heat and the method of freeze-drying erode the nutritional value of the raw shellfish, which means that brands that make use of these two procedures are more likely to be offering less effective products. The use of stabilization or the addition of chemicals to preserve the mollusks also diminishes the purity and the efficacy of the final supplement. With all these in mind, we recommend a brand that does not make use of any of these procedures and what we can come up with is the Xtend-Life Green Lipped Mussel Powder supplement.
Why Xtend-Life? What makes it different from other green lipped mussel supplements?
For one, high levels of heat and freeze-drying are not part of the process of converting raw mussels into Xtend-Life powder supplement. The brand’s GLM supplement is also not “stabilized,” which means that no chemical additives were used in making the final product. Xtend-Life has developed its own method of manufacturing its GLM supplement and it involves the use of the low heat-short step process. This manufacturing procedure entails the use of high inlet air temperatures acting on a wet product for short periods of time. The combination of the hot air-wet material allows the product to maintain a temperature that does not go beyond 50 degrees Celsius. In addition, the whole procedure of converting the raw mussel into the final powdered supplement takes only half an hour with Xtend-Life. Consumers should note that the longer the manufacturing process, the more exposed the mussels will be to outside environmental factors and the more likely the nutrients will erode. Because of this low heat/short step procedure, Xtend-Life is able to retain the nutritional contents of the raw mussel in the final product.
If using high levels of heat and freeze-drying the mussels can erode the product’s nutritional value, then why do others use these types of methods?
These methods are traditional manufacturing procedures and have long been used by those who produce powder supplements. And the use of the word “erode” means that the nutrients are diminished, but not totally gone. A green lipped mussel supplement manufactured using high levels of heat, freeze-drying or stabilization will still have some benefits, although compared with Xtend-Life, their efficacy will likely be just 15%-20% of Xtend-Life’s powder supplement. There is also the matter of cost. Those who pre-cook mussels actually do not need to worry about the cost of monitoring the process from start to finish since the mussels have already been cooked. This means that they have practically eliminated the first half of the procedure and converting the cooked mussels into powder supplement is the only step left. However, as mentioned before, this will also shave off more than half of the nutritional content of the mussels.
So, Xtend-Life has the better procedure, how about its raw material? Where do the mussels come from?
The green lipped mussels used in Xtend-Life’s powder supplement are harvested from the Marlborough Sound area of New Zealand. This coastal area is known for having some of the purest waters in the world. To further ensure the purity of the mussels, the manufacturer gets its supply from just one green lipped mussel grower. This is done to make sure that the quality specifications of the manufacturer are met. Xtend-Life also insists on being given mussels that have been harvested at a specific time of the year. Green lipped mussels actually have a specific time when they are at their healthiest and their nutritional content is at its highest. The company demands that its supplier only harvests the mussels that the manufacturer will receive during that particular time of year. The mussels are delivered fresh and alive to the manufacturer and since it only takes 30 minutes to convert the raw shellfish into the final powdered supplement, the freshness of the mussels is retained.