Green lip mussel extract reduces damage to muscles after extreme exertion
If you take green lip mussel extract for a couple of weeks and then subject your muscles to unusually heavy exertion, you can reduce the unavoidable muscle damage. It'll mean less muscle soreness and a speedier recovery, American sports scientists discovered. It's a shame though that the dose of the extract required is unaffordable for most people.
Green lip mussel
The green lip mussel – Perna canaliculus in Latin – lives off the coast of New Zealand. Pharmalink [lyprinol.com], a Hong Kong based company, makes the patented extract PCSO-524 from the mussels and sells it to supplements manufacturers under the trade names Lyprinol and Omega XL.
Green lip mussel extract comes in capsules, most of which contain 50 mg extract.
Green lip mussel extract contains 91 fatty acids. The most important is oleic acid, which is also found in large quantities in olive oil.
In addition, the extract also contains oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, phenols that are also found in virgin olive oil – and in even bigger quantities in olive leaf extract.
In a study sponsored by Pharmalink, sports scientist Timothy Mickleborough of the School of Public Health-Bloomington gave 16 untrained male students 1200 mg green lip mussel extract every day for 26 days. That's easily 24 capsules a day. If you're unlucky that'd cost you 15 euros or 16 US dollars a day.
Mickleborough gave 16 other male students a placebo for 26 days.
At the end of the 26 days the students had to run at 70 percent of their maximal oxygen uptake on a treadmill set at 16 degrees downhill for 20 minutes. If you aren't used to that, it's guaranteed to give you mighty sore muscles. For four days after the treadmill session the students continued to take their green lip mussel extract or placebo.
The figure below shows that the sore muscles disappeared more quickly in the students who had taken green lip mussel extract.
During the first days the students had less power in their leg muscles, but recovery was quicker in the students who took green lip mussel extract, as the figure above shows.
After the running session the students who had taken green lip mussel extract had less creatine kinase and TNF-alpha in their blood. That means that the extract had protected their muscles.
How exactly green lip mussel extract protects the muscles is not clear from this study. But the researchers don't think that the fish fatty acids EPA and DHA have much to do with the protective effect. The students only consumed 58 and 44 mg respectively of these fatty acids.
According to researcher Timothy Mickleborough, green lip mussel extract is an interesting supplement for athletes. "These findings might have positive implications for triathletes if they're doing several different types of exercises, and it could potentially help diminish soreness in multisport, recreational athletes as well", he said in an interview with NutraIngredients USA. [nutraingredients-usa.com 3-Mar-2015] "Essentially, for anyone who is engaging in unaccustomed exercise, it's a nice product."
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Feb 19;12:10.
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