How Does Green Lipped Mussel Help Inflammatory Conditions?
Green-lipped mussel or New Zealand mussel is a common shellfish which the indigenous New Zealanders–the Maori–have gathered and used medicinally for hundreds of years. They get their name from the green edges or lips on their shells. Not only are they the largest type of mussel in the world, but they are also nutrient dense, rich in minerals, essential amino acids, glycoproteins and omega 3 fatty acids.
It is in fact these fatty acids that are believed to give green-lipped mussels their beneficial properties for human health. Furan fatty acids, present in these mollusks, inhibit the production of chemicals such as leukotrienes and prostaglandins which cause inflammation. This anti-inflammatory effect makes green-lipped mussel effective for use against symptoms of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. These conditions are largely caused by inflammation affecting either the lung tissue or the joint tissue so preventing their production can go a long way to improving symptoms.
But it is not the fatty acids alone that are beneficial, but rather the combination of the fatty acids with other properties. While you can find fatty acids in any fish oil, the particular vitamins, minerals and compounds found in green-lipped mussels give them more potent pain-relieving effects.
There is also evidence to show green-lipped mussels help treat osteoarthritis in dogs. In studies, dogs who took a green-lipped mussel preparation for eight weeks experienced less pain and locomotion difficulties than those who took a placebo.
So whether for you or your four-legged friend, you might want to add green-lipped mussel to your diet to target inflammatory conditions. If you don’t eat a lot of fresh, New Zealand seafood, a supplement is probably your best bet. They have been shown to be very safe, but of course, should be avoided if you have a shellfish allergy.