Green Lipped Mussel - Medical & Other Uses
Medical & Other Uses
Green Lipped Mussels and Arthritis
The original discovery that Green Lipped Mussel may help arthritis was made by American researchers looking for treatments for cancer from the sea - back in the '60s. The New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel was one of a number of shellfish being screened. During this research, it was coincidentally discovered that Green Lipped Mussel has anti-inflammatory properties which are unique to this particular mussel. Hence the connection with arthritis.
Arthritis is essentially inflammation in a joint. There are over 200 types of arthritis but there are 2 types which are most common: inflammation of a joint for an unknown cause (as in rheumatoid arthritis) and wear and tear arthritis where the joint wears out and rough, thickened areas develop in place of smooth cartilages which enable easy, smooth movement of the joint (as in osteo-arthritis).
Clinical trials on Green Lipped Mussel extract have shown beneficial results for patients suffering from both rheumatoid arthritis and osteo-arthritis.
The pain and stiffness associated with arthritis is commonly treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, one of the most common side-effects of which are gastric disorders ie the irritation of the stomach and upsetting of the digestive system.
However, side effects of Green Lipped Mussel are very uncommon and are mainly confined to mild gastro-intestinal distress. This can be particularly important for elderly patients who may develop a gastric or duodenal ulcer during treatment with conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, allergic reactions are not unknown and people who suffer from an allergy to shellfish or gelatin would not be recommended to use the product.
Anti-inflammatory properties of Green Lipped Mussel
As a result of the discovery in the '60s, research on the anti-inflammatory properties of Green lipped Mussel began in 1973 and still continues.
Studies so far indicate that this property is associated with a glycoprotein consisting of glycogen; a complex form of sugar tied up with one of the proteins. Glycogen is a sugar store in the muscle (of the mussel) which is in fact found in all animals and is utilised in energy production.
Suppression of swelling has been demonstrated to a degree with the glycogen complex.
An anti-histamine substance has also been isolated from the New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel extract and studies have shown it to have a preventative action against arthritis.
Green Lipped Mussel is taken as a food supplement in over 20 countries, mainly to help maintain mobility of the joints. The potential benefits may take effect gradually and a regular course over several months is recommended. One of the major benefits demonstrated by scientific studies is that the extract is gentle on the stomach and can be safely taken at the same time as most prescribed medication or medicines.
NB Seatone contains natural sea salts and should therefore not be taken by those suffering from, or taking medication for, high blood pressure.