With each passing day, our world gets more and more like a concrete jungle. Similarly, it gets harder and harder for our bodies to receive all the nutrition we need – this deficiency in the necessary vitamins and minerals may naturally cause our mind and body to underperform.
One way to combat this lack of nutrients is by adding dietary supplements to your daily diet. Now, supplements come in a number of forms and, much like anything else, can be safe or unsafe, depending on what you pick and how much you use.
One safe and natural choice of supplements is New Zealand green lipped mussel powder. As the name suggests, the supplement is essentially a powder type derived from green lipped mussels (Perna canaliculus) found exclusively in the country of New Zealand. Also referred to as the greenshell mussel, New Zealand green mollusk, sea mussel, kuku, or kutai, it is a type of shellfish with dark brown/green shells and green “lips” or edges, which is where they get their name from.
Here’s a short video that highlights the unique benefits of New Zealand green lipped mussels, featuring the supplement that we are showcasing in this article:
The shellfish belongs to a fairly large species of mussels, reaching up to 9 inches in length. Marketed under the trademark name greenshell, New Zealand’s cultivation of the mussel began in the 1970s and has since grown rather exponentially. With the country’s aquaculture industry producing just under 150,000 tonnes of the product per annum, it is valued at more than NZ$250 million.
This industry functions under extremely strict quality standards aligned with the U.S Food and Drug Administration, European Union, and NZ Food Safety Authority. Seawater and mussels around cultivation farms are regularly tested for biotoxins and bacteria to ensure the manufacturing of safe and healthy products.
Used extensively for medicinal use, New Zealand green lipped mussel supplements are available freeze-dried, ground, and in the form of capsules that use powders, oils or extracts. The fast-growing industry contributes its development to the many benefits of greenshell mussel consumption. Some of these benefits include anti-inflammatory properties and arthritis relief.
Inflammation in the joints is inhibited by the abundance of nutritional components in the shellfish like Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids – alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids promote better tissue, cartilage, and joint health in the body, providing relief and possibly preventing arthritis.
The supplement is best used in powder form as it retains most of its benefits this way. In green lipped mussel (GLM) oils and extracts, the potency of nutrients is considerably reduced due to factors like processing time and methods.
Powders that are manufactured in short periods and low temperatures can contain more of its healing properties. Moreover, the actual amount of GLM oil included in the gel is not fixed as manufacturers mix the product with other oils during production.
Here’s a little more about New Zealand green lipped mussel powder benefits:
Green lipped mussels contain several amino acids, minerals, and antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the body. The high amounts of omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids contribute to maintaining joint cell structure and restoring function. It decreases the formation of leukotrienes and prostaglandins.
Test-tube studies have found a modulation of leukotrienes, cytokines, and immunoglobulin. Additionally, it contains chondroitin sulfate, an important chemical in cartilage and joints in the body. GLM also inhibits COX-1, COX-2, and arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase activity better than fish oil. This led researchers to find that GLM contains a different fatty acid called furan fatty acid.
Furan fatty acids are extremely potent antioxidants and may help explain why GLM is so effective for inflammation. Other marine life lacks the enzymes to synthesize these fatty acids. Moreover, the New Zealand coastline may have a unique component that allows for a greater concentration of F-acids among some life forms that feed there.
Green lipped mussels work as an excellent way to relieve pain caused by issues like osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and causes extreme pain and stiffness in joints. In trials that lasted between 3 and 6 months, the possible advantageous properties of New Zealand green lipped mussel supplements were compared with that of placebo capsules. Participants were between 30-80.
It was found that GLM supplements were more effective than the placebo in treating pain symptoms, improving bodily functions, and increasing the overall quality of life when taken along with paracetamol and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). It is to be noted that GLM is not as effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis, and Similar Respiratory Issues:
Leukotrienes are mediators of inflammation in the airway that cause bronchoconstriction and increase mucus secretion, allowing inflammatory cells into the airway. As GLM inhibits leukotrienes, it is beneficial in relieving asthma and other respiratory issues. In one 8-week study of asthma patients, New Zealand green-lipped mussel supplements twice a day significantly decreased wheezing and improved airflow.
Consuming GLM powder regularly helps reduce the chances of a heart attack or other circulatory problems. This is done by strengthening the interior arterial walls and improving blood flow.
Early research suggests that green lipped mussels may help relieve muscle soreness caused by various reasons such as a hard work-out. This is done by reducing the growing inflammation in these muscles.
Dysmenorrhea, a term for PMS cramps and other pelvic pain due to menstruation, can also be relieved with New Zealand green lipped mussel powder. The Omega-3 fatty acids found in these supplements are found to be effective in treating uterus-related inflammation as well.
A double-blind trial was conducted on just under 200 women divided into two separate groups. To one group, omega-3 fatty acid was administered in the dosage of 2 grams per day. The other group received two placebo gels that appeared similar to the omega-3 supplements.
The symptoms in both groups were monitored and compared at 1.5 and 3 months after the start of the treatment. It was found that omega-3 fatty acids reduced depression and anxiety as well as bloating, headache, and breast tenderness. The longer the treatment was administered, the more the effects increased.
Benefits of green lipped mussel powder also include gastrointestinal health. A group of mice with drug-induced colitis (inflammation of large intestine or colon caused by chemicals) were given GLM. Results in the group taking this supplement showed less weight loss, lower disease activity, smaller crypt area losses in the distal colon, and lower cecum and colon weights when compared to the placebo.
Health Issues In Dogs
New Zealand green lipped mussels have a beneficial effect on dogs as well. The variety of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fats, amino acids, antioxidants, and enzymes all contribute to less inflammation, reduced pain, and more mobility in canines too.
Many companies manufacture New Zealand green lipped mussels, but one of the best supplements available is in powder form, as mentioned before. The extraction of GLM that is done by extreme heat or freeze-drying processes causes the end product to lose many of its nutritional components along the way.
The powdered form of the supplement retains most of its nutrients after extraction as the process is done without the induction of high temperatures or freeze-drying. The time required to process it is relatively short – it is complete in just under one hour. It is believed that only about 10% of the potency of powdered GLM is present in the oil supplement.
Moreover, oil extracts of GLM combine other oils such as olive oil, fish oil, or grapeseed oil in the final product, so what you receive is not as pure as you would expect. Most green lipped mussel oil supplements available say they contain 25 mg to 65 mg of oil per capsule.
Still, consumers need to keep in mind that the advertised quantity may differ from the actual GLM quantity in each capsule due to the blend of other oils. It is advised to read through the ingredient list before making the purchase.
Xtend-Life green lipped mussel powder is an excellent choice of GLM powder supplements as it is 100% pure and offers a much higher concentration of nutrients like glycosaminoglycans and omega-3 fatty acids than other similar supplements.
The raw GLM is sourced from extremely clean waters in New Zealand and, according to the brand, harvested under strict conditions to ensure sustainability, safety, and traceability. They are then opened in cold water using a specific technique to best retain the end product’s advantageous properties.
The supplements are packaged in a container of 120 capsules and retail for just over USD 30. Each capsule contains 600 mg of mussel powder, which, when taken over a certain course of time, ensures that you receive its many benefits.
Much like any other supplement, New Zealand green lipped mussel powder also comes with its own fair share of side effects if taken incorrectly. It is deemed to be primarily safe but may possibly cause minor itching, nausea, and intestinal gas in some cases. Be sure to consult an expert regarding dosage before including the product in your daily regimen.