Green-Lipped Mussel Extract Benefits

Renée Naturally Qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist & Western Medical Herbalist

Green-Lipped Mussels (named after the unique green colouring of their shell) are found exclusively off the waters of New Zealand. For centuries this edible shellfish has been a major part of the diet of the local populations. It’s no wonder, as green-lipped mussels are a pure, natural, whole-food, which possesses an exceptional degree of bioactivity and consequent health benefits.

The edible part of the green-lipped mussel contains the ocean’s natural mineral balance, which is similar to that found in the human body. Research has shown that the shellfish contains natural anti-inflammatory agents, immune modulators, and many essential building blocks needed to rebuild collagen, joints, ligaments, and tendons.

To make quality green-lipped mussel supplements, the mussels are harvested at the peak of their growth curve and once collected, the soft tissue gets separated from the shell. It is then flash frozen and freeze-dried, removing water to allow it to be processed into a fine powder.

The manner in which green-lipped mussels are concentrated is designed not to destroy or inactivate the biologically active constituents. When processed into a potent extract, quality green-lipped mussel supplementations have the exceptional potential to aid the body in halting the progression of joint and connective tissue disease as well as promote the regeneration and healing of arthritic and injured joints.

Research over the past 20 years has confirmed that the shellfish contains a number of potentially active components that work against the destructive cycle of degenerative joint disease. In 1974, green-lipped mussels were found to be a potential natural remedy for arthritis. Numerous animal and human studies have since indicated that this natural product from the sea can offer safe and effective relief from pain, inflammation, and other debilitating symptoms associated with both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Further studies have shown that this unique mussel is a rich natural source of Omega 3 fatty acids and naturally contains the beneficial joint nutrients glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate. Omega 3 is an essential nutrient for our bodies and helps with blood clotting, cell production, lowering inflammation, and protection from heart disease. Chondroitin and glucosamine are both components of natural cartilage and are used within the body to build new cartilage. Chondroitin is known to block enzymes that break down cartilage, which helps to further protect joints from inflammatory disease.

Several human studies gave positive results as to the mussel’s ability to prevent multiple symptoms of arthritis when compared to conventional anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition to the nutrients above, the beneficial properties have been linked to the presence of complex natural components called ‘glycosaminoglycans’ (GAGs). Green-lipped mussels provide a rich source of GAGs, which are the principal components of cartilage and the synovial fluid found around the joint. A loss of GAGs leads to greater stiffness in the joint and increases the potential for injury. Evidence suggests that GAGs effectively inhibit the action of degrading enzymes, which contribute to cartilage breakdown.

Green Lipped Mussel supplements can be a beneficial addition to a healthy lifestyle and diet. It is best to speak with a qualified health professional to see if adding this supplement into your daily routine may be right for you. 

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