Timothy Mickleborough and his team found a 59% improvement in lung function in the study group that consumed 72 mg of omega-3 form EPA and 48 mg of DHA. They said the results were similar to fish oil-sourced omega-3s, but lower dosages were required of the green-lipped mussel omega-3 source.
Published in Respiratory Medicine, Mickleborough, a professor in the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, spoke to the potential wellbeing not to mention athletic benefits of omega-3 supplementation for asthmatics.
"Not only does it reduce symptoms, which will make you feel better, but it potentially could improve athletic performance," he said. "Any time you can reduce medication is good."
Exercise-induced asthma is characterised by a narrowing of the airway after activity, which hampers breathing. It is nearly ubiquitous among asthmatics.
The condition affects about 10% of elite athletes and 10% of the general population.
The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study used a green-lipped mussel form called PCSO-524, supplied by German firm Pharmalink, which financially supported the study.
The 12 men and eight women between the ages of 20 and 24 followed regular diets for three weeks then took either PCSO-524 or placebo for a further three weeks. That was followed by a return to a normal diet for two weeks before switching to the alternative supplement.
The participants had physician-diagnosed asthma and documented exercise-induced asthma but did not take medication, rather using asthma inhalers.
They were tested using a eucapnic voluntary hyperventilation challenge at the beginning of the study and after each treatment period, which revealed a 59% improvement in lung function.
Mickleborough said he would conduct further studies investigating the ability of PCSO-524 to relieve airway inflammation in elite athletes who do not have asthma.
Other studies would look at the delay of muscle soreness and muscle damage.
PCSO-524 is a blend of green-lipped mussel omega-3s (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)), olive oil and vitamin E.
Mickleborough is chairing a symposium called ‘Health and Performance Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Something Fishy Going On?’ at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in Indianapolis this Saturday.
09 May 2013 (10.1016/j.rmed.2013.04.010)
‘Marine lipid fraction PCSO-524 (lyprinol/omega XL) of the New Zealand green lipped mussel attenuates hyperpnea-induced bronchoconstriction in asthma’
Authors:Timothy Mickleborough, Cherissa L Vaughn, Ren-Jay Shei, Eliza M Davis, Daniel P Wilhite