Mussels are shellfish of different varieties and up to 17 of them are considered edible. The biggest variety of mussels in the world is green lipped mussels New Zealand because they are native to the country. The name “green-lipped” mussel was derived from their appearance because their edges are green in color and give off a lip-like appearance where the two sides of the shells meet.
Green lipped mussels from New Zealand are well known for their rich nutritional values as they contain high amounts of vital amino acids, minerals, eicosapentaenoic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids, and all these nutrients have been shown to play important functions in the body. Asides from being eaten directly, their extracts can be used as supplements in oil or powder form in the diet (1).
This article will explain all the details you need on the health benefits of taking green lipped mussels, their nutrient composition, medical benefits in some diseases, quantity to consume, and side effects of taking green lipped mussels.
Composition Of Green Lipped Mussels
The discovery that indigenous Maori people in New Zealand who were consuming green lipped mussels reported lower cases of arthritis than individuals who lived inland and this difference stimulated researchers’ interest in green lipped mussels’ possible health benefits in 1970s. It was eventually discovered that mussels are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They supply docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in great quantities. These have both been shown to reduce inflammation (1).
Researchers have also discovered many additional fatty acids in mussels. Mussels could also have anti-inflammatory potentials by blocking the proteins and enzymes that cause pain and inflammation. Apart from their anti-inflammatory effects, green lipped mussels are also an excellent source of selenium, iron, many B vitamins, and a decent source of zinc (1).
An evaluation of the nutritional advantages of green-lipped mussels finds that the shellfish are high in the following nutrients:
- – Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which are examples of omega-3 fatty acids
- – Sulfated chondroitin
- – Zinc
- – Iron
- – Selenium
- – Protein (2).
Green lipped mussel oil
Green lipped mussel oil is an important and commonly used supplement derived from green lipped mussels. These shellfish are farmed for the purpose of oil extraction and this task is completed by trained specialists using a biotechnological extraction method. These experts extract the mussel flesh from its shell without using heat to prevent heat from destroying them and losing its nutritious advantages.
The mussels are prepared in a way that their nutritional values stay fresh throughout the procedure thanks to a cutting-edge method of pasteurization. The oil is extracted without using chemicals that may interfere with the quality of the end product. The end product is a highly pure marine lipid oil rich in minerals and vitamins (3).
Up until recently, fish oil has been the popular source of omega-3. Now, small dosages of green lipped mussel oil have been shown to be consistently more effective than a dose of fish oil of the same amount, according to research. This is due to the fact that they are also a rich source of important fatty acids like eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA), which enhances gene-level wellness.
In addition to being anti-inflammatory, EPA and DHA also help lessen the symptoms of illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis. A study also showed that each participant’s joint pain and inflammation decreased with a daily 1.2-ounce dose of green lipped mussel supplement. Similar to the Green Lipped Mussel, 1.2 ounces of fish oil taken each day for twelve weeks yielded no significant effect overall. The conclusion from this study is that green lipped mussel oil is more effective than fish oil in relieving inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (13).
The Medical Benefits Of Green Lipped Mussels
The following are the medical benefits of using green lipped mussels:
- – Arthritis
Arthritis is caused by persistent inflammation and is usually characterized by severe stiffness and swelling in your joints. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the commonest two forms of arthritis conditions reported. The use green lipped mussel supplement has also been shown to lessen joint inflammation, hence relieving arthritis symptoms (4).
The green lipped mussel was found by researchers to have improved VAS pain scores in patients with osteoarthritis based on the result of a study conducted on 452 patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis (5).
- – Role in the Digestive system
Beyond the beneficial effect of green lipped mussels New Zealand in alleviating the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, there is some evidence that the chemicals found in green-lipped mussels can enhance our digestive system health (1). Early research has indicated that maintaining a variety of “good” microorganism populations is essential for immunological function, as well as the prevention of obesity and metabolic illnesses.
To maintain a healthy and varied gut, we must consume both prebiotic and probiotic foods on a regular basis. Prebiotics are fiber-rich foods like garlic, onion, and bananas that “feed” the bacteria that are already present in our digestive system, whereas probiotics are dairy products like yogurt and pickled vegetables that introduce new strands to our digestive system (1).
Researchers have also out that green-lipped mussels might have an influence on our intestinal health. To begin, a 2017 study found that green-lipped mussels promote the development of “good” bacteria while suppressing intestinal inflammation thereby improving digestive system health. Many experts think that intestinal inflammation has a role in many chronic diseases like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma, thus diets rich in fiber foods such as fruits, whole grains, and vegetables which include prebiotic and probiotic foods are an excellent approach to staying healthy (1).
- – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD)
The health importance of Green lipped mussels from New Zealand has also been observed in the area of children and adolescent mental health. Research conducted by scientists at the Swinburne university concluded that this mussel can improve the symptoms of children suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, hyperactivity, and learning problems. Children given mussel extract capsules for 14 weeks showed better responses at home and recorded less hyperactivity than a placebo group, according to the research
- – Use in Asthma (Current research)
Asthma is a persistent inflammatory problem that affects the lungs and makes breathing hard. Green lipped mussels decreases inflammation in pulmonary system and that’s how they help people living with asthma. This has been the case in many scientific studies done by researchers. In one research. Participants with asthma were administered 400mg of mussel extract for three week. Other participants were placed on a control for the same period before switching to the opposite medication for another three weeks. Unlike the control, the green lipped mussel extract resulted into large decreases in pulmonary inflammation and symptoms of asthma (6).
Another showed that in about 46 patients diagnosed with asthma, the condition was signicantly increased by daily consumption of green-lipped mussel over a period of two months period. These results were observed without any side effects whatsoever, which further attests to green-lipped mussels being very safe for use.
It was also demonstrated that substances found within green-lipped mussels can drastically improve several respiratory function markers, decrease wheezing, and improve airflow. It is also believed that, these benefits are due to the enormous anti-inflammatory potential that green lipped mussels have (7).
- – Green lipped mussel improves fertility
Green lipped mussel oil could be of benefit to couples facing infertility issues. This benefit has been linked to omega-3 fatty acids which are an important nutritional component of shellfish. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown over the years to be an important key player in fertility and reproductive health. The condition of the womb can also be improved by the anti-inflammatory properties and regulatory hormonal regulatory function responsible for ovulation. These factors put an individual in a good condition to conceive. (11)
- – Benefit to the brain
The brain is an important organ in humans and it needs to be in an optimal condition to enable us to live a good life. The use of supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acid such green lipped mussel oil help to improve cognitive functions (memory and learning). Fish oil has been recommended for this purpose long before now because of its omega-3 constituent, however, green lipped mussels from New Zealand can also provide a similar function thanks to its omega-3 fatty acids components. (13)
The suitable dose of green lipped mussels from New Zealand depends on various factors, including the consumer’s age, health, medical status and a number of other situations. Currently, there is not a lot of scientific information to ascertain an apt range of doses for green lipped mussel oil (12).
This is because there are limited clinical trial data available to inform therapeutic dosing. In arthritis and asthma trials, different dosages from commercial preparations have been reported, making dosing difficult to establish (11). Notwithstanding, green lipped mussel extracts have often been used by adults in doses of 200 – 400mg by mouth daily for up to three months (12). Green lipped mussels new Zealand powder has most commonly been used by adults in doses of 1050 – 1150mg by mouth daily for up to three months (12).
Green Lipped Mussels Side Effects
Green Lipped mussel oil is generally safe to use. Green lipped mussels from New Zealand have been used safely for up to a year. It is very well tolerated. Having said that, some people may experience side effects like slight abdominal pain, frequent farting, and nausea (10).
Safety And Concern
There is a persistent worry with regard to fish and seafood. Due to existing fears over pollutants such as heavy metals like mercury. Thankfully, many research studies that have analyzed the levels of contamination in green lipped mussels have discovered that they are very low, largely due to the clean waters in New Zealand coast(10).
Although they are safe for most people, it is not advisable for people on blood-thinning drugs to take green lipped mussels since they can potentially make the blood dangerously thin and the individual may bleed excessively to small cuts. Similarly, green lipped mussels use should not be used close to surgeries to prevent excessive bleeding (10).
Green lipped mussels should not be taken during pregnancy. There has been evidence to show that it can negatively affect the growth and development of the unborn child, and also delay childbirth (11).
There is not enough well-grounded information to know if green lipped mussel from New Zealand is safe to use while breastfeeding. It is best to stay safe and avoid using it while breastfeeding to prevent harm to the growing baby. Green lipped mussel is safe for children between six and fourteen years of age. Since green lipped mussels are a type of shellfish, they should not be consumed by those allergic to shellfish (6).
The following are important points to note about the green lipped mussels from New Zealand:
- – Green lipped mussels have been the subject of much research for almost 60 years due to their high nutritional content and health benefits.
- – Green lipped mussels are also taken as supplements in powder form or as green lipped mussel oil.
- – Green lipped mussels have also been proven to be beneficial to ADHD patients and as well as relieving asthma symptoms.
- – These shellfish have been well recognized over many decades for their potential to significantly reduce pain symptoms, promote mobility, and enable osteoarthritis patients to live quality lives.
- – Omega3 fatty acids, vitamins, and important mineral constituents are the core of green lipped mussel function
- – Green lipped mussels also work synergistically with NSAIDs and are capable of reducing the side effects of the drugs.
- – However, people who are on blood thinning drugs are not advised to take green lipped mussels. This also applies to individuals who are close to having a surgery. As there is an insufficiency of evidence on its safety for use in children and pregnant/breastfeeding women, it is also not advised for people in these categories.
- – Finally, with healthy lifestyle practices, and capitalizing on the rich profile of green lipped mussels is another wonderful and natural way of boosting one’s health.
- 1. https://www.simplysupplements.co.uk/healthylife/supplements/green-lipped-mussel-benefits
- 2. https://www.hakalife.com/sf-special-offer/
- 3. https://www.hakalife.com/education/green-lipped-mussel/how-green-lipped-mussel-oil-is-made-and-harvested/
- 4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/green-lipped-mussel#nutrient-content
- 5. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10787-021-00801-2
- 6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/green-lipped-mussel
- 7. https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/kbase/topic.jhtml?docId=hn-2860000
- 8. https://www.drugs.com/npp/new-zealand-green-lipped-mussel.html
- 9. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-830/new-zealand-green-lipped-mussel
- 10. https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/hn-2860000
- 11. https://www.ccrmivf.com/blog/fertility-benefits-omega3-fatty-acids
- 12. https://www.rxlist.com/new_zealand_green-lipped_mussel/supplements.htm
- 13. https://bebrainfit.com/omega-3-fats-brain-benefits/