Mussels for muscles: Green lipped mussel extract may ease muscle damage during exercise


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Image credit: Richard Giddins, Creative Commons
Image credit: Richard Giddins, Creative Commons

Related tags: Muscle damage, New zealand green-lipped mussel

Extracts from New Zealand green lipped mussels may reduce muscle soreness and fatigue after exercise and reduce markers of muscle damage, says a new study.

Four weeks of supplementation with Pharmalink International’s PCSO-524 (Lyprinol/Omega XL) resulted in significantly lower muscle soreness and muscle fatigue in untrained men, according to findings published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

In addition, exercise produced increases in certain markers of muscle damage and inflammation, but these increases were suppressed in the green lipped mussel extract group, said the researchers, led by Timothy Mickleborough, PhD, from the Human Performance and Exercise Biochemistry Laboratory at the University of Indiana-Bloomington.

“Our findings may have implications for those who train regularly, especially since it has recently been shown that EPA and DHA levels (Omega-3 Index: percentage of EPA and DHA in total erythrocyte fatty acids) were low in a cohort of German elite winter endurance athletes, and importantly that n-3 LC-PUFA supplementation leads to a higher Omega-3 index level and decreased incidence of DOMS [delayed onset muscle soreness] in healthy college aged individuals,” ​they wrote.

Pharmalink International’s patented marine oil lipid and n-3 LC PUFA blend (PCSO-524/ Lyprinol) is derived from New Zealand green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus​), and the company funded the study.

Implications for triathletes and more

Mickleborough has worked with Pharmalink previously for a study with PCSO-524 and its effects on exercise-induced asthma and respiratory inflammation. “I thought if it can be used as an anti-inflammatory for lungs, perhaps it could reverse muscle inflammation as well,”​ he said.

“[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. “Essentially, for anyone who is engaging in unaccustomed exercise, it's a nice product.”

Study details


Dr Mickleborough and his co-workers recruited 32 untrained men and randomly assigned them to receive either 1200 mg per day of PCSO-524 or placebo for four weeks. At the end of the study the men ran downhill to induce muscle damage. Supplementation continued for four days after the exercise.

Results showed that DOMS was significantly decreased three and four days after the exercise for the mussel group, compared with placebo. Markers of muscle damage increased in both groups, but by significantly less in the mussel group.  

Range of motion in the knee was also protected by the green lipped mussel extract supplements, compared to placebo, said the researchers.

The downhill running increased the marker of inflammation TNF-alpha in the placebo group by 156%, compared to baseline levels. However, TNF-alpha increases were reduced in the green-lipped mussel group (an increase of only 93%, compared with baseline).

“The present study has shown that supplementing the diet of untrained men for 30 days with 1200 mg/d of a marine oil lipid and n-3 LC PUFA blend (PCSO-524), derived from the New Zealand green lipped mussel, attenuated indirect markers of muscle damage and inflammation following downhill running designed to induce muscle damage, and may represent a useful therapeutic agent for mitigating muscle damage and inflammation following unaccustomed and/or eccentric exercise,” ​concluded the researchers.

Source: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
2015, 12​:10, doi:10.1186/s12970-015-0073-z
“The effects PCSO-524, a patented marine oil lipid and omega-3 PUFA blend derived from the New Zealand green lipped mussel (​Perna canaliculus), on indirect markers of muscle damage and inflammation after muscle damaging exercise in untrained men: a randomized, placebo controlled trial”
Authors: T.D. Mickleborough, J.A. Sinex, D. Platt, R.F. Chapman, M. Hirt 

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1 comment

Hope so

Posted by Carl,

these are really good

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