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Introduction Potential Benefits Composition Mode of Action References

What is Green Lipped Mussel Extract ?

The green lipped mussel is a shell fish that’s native to New Zealand (Perna canaliculus). Its name comes from the green lip around the edge of its shell. The green lipped mussel is one of the larges mussel species in existence, and can grow up to 240 mm in length.

The green lipped mussels are grown in dedicated farms in the pristine waters of New Zealand, usually in sheltered waters close to the shore.

The mussel industry operates within some of the stringent quality standards in the world. Both the mussels and seawater around the farms are tested for biotoxins, bacteria, and heavy metals. In addition, the water quality is constantly monitored with tests carried out to the standards set by the U.S Food and Drug Administration, European Union, and NZ Food Safety Authority.

New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people have claimed for centuries that consuming green lipped mussels has helped them maintain good health. But when and how was this natural wonder food scientifically discovered?

It was a search for ways to naturally treat cancer that led scientists to the green lipped mussel, way back in the 1960s.

The green lipped mussel was examined. Interestingly, although it didn’t produce any remarkable results when tested on human cancer patients,

Further research proved the possible benefits of the green lipped mussel in combating degenerative joint and connective tissue disorder was found.

In 1974, the green lipped mussel was found to be a potential natural remedy for arthritis. Green lipped mussel extract has been commercially available as a food supplement since 1974.

The earliest studies of the mussel, conducted on animals, focused on its anti inflammatory properties and the ability to prevent the onset of induced arthritis. Several human studies gave positive results as to the mussel’s ability to relieve multiple symptoms of arthritis when compared to conventional anti-inflammatory drugs.

Studies conducted between 1975 and 1993 have indicated that the green lipped mussel shows promising results in offering safe and effective relief from symptoms of both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

Green Lipped Mussel Extract (GLME) has now been subjected to over thirty years of quality scientific research. It has been shown in laboratory and clinical trials, involving both human and animal subjects, to be effective in treating both the rheumatoid and osteo forms of arthritis. How it does so is an interesting story and is an indication of the powers of nature, in particular that occurring in our seas, to provide remedies for most ailments.

GLME performs two distinct anti-inflammatory activities. The principal anti-inflammatory activity is due to a carbohydrate complex that has the ability to inhibit the emigration of neutrophils from the blood vessels. What this means, in everyday terms, is that soldier cells (neutrophils) are inhibited from attacking our own cells when an inflammatory stimulus is present. Preventing inflammation with its associated pain and reduced mobility symptoms is a primary requirement for an arthritis treatment.

The second anti-inflammatory activity is due to the effect of GLME's natural content of long chain fatty acids on cyclo-oxygenase activities. These cyclo-oxygenase (COX) compounds are enzymes which the body uses to biosynthesize chemicals called prostaglandins. There are two forms of these COX enzymes. COX 1 is constitutive and a natural component of normal tissue. It performs important functions in our body. The other form (COX 2) is induced when an inflammatory state such as arthritis is present and it produces pro-inflammatory prostaglandins. It is therefore desirable to selectively inhibit the COX-2 enzymic activity.

Anti-inflammatory drugs tend to inhibit both COX 1 and COX 2 activity thus inhibiting the production of the prostaglandins, which are needed for the protection of the stomach lining, helping kidney function and also some blood characteristics. GLME has the very desirable, and most important benefit, of selectively inhibiting just the COX 2 activity.

Another valuable feature of the product is that it has been found to have natural gastro-protective properties. This means that, not only does it not damage the delicate stomach lining, it actually provides a protective function for it. Thus the product is able to relieve the inflammatory symptoms associated with arthritic diseases whilst protecting the stomach from the damaging effect of some pain-killers should a person need to be taking these at the same time.

GLME has a natural content of glycosaminoglycans. This is the name for a group of polysaccharides which includes chondroitin sulphate, dermatan sulphate, hyaluronic acid etc. These glycosaminoglycans are used by the body for the biosynthesis of compounds called proteoglycans. The proteoglycans have a very strong affinity for water molecules in the joints, to which they bind, and form very large, slippery, space filling molecules. The function of these large combination molecules is to act as shock absorbers and also lubricants in the joints. Thus, GLME has anti-inflammatory activity that is necessary to relieve the inflammatory component coupled with chondro-protective activity which relieves the physical component of osteo arthritis.

In young people and those not affected by arthritis, the rate of cartilage degeneration in the joints is equaled by that of regeneration. In the older person and in arthritic disease states this balance is upset leading to a reduction in the padding and lubrication of the joints. Certain cytokine induced enzyme activity is known to accelerate the breakdown of cartilage process and the inhibition of this enzymic activity is thus very desirable. Seatone has been shown in laboratory studies to inhibit the cytokine activity that would lead to the production of cells responsible for this process.

To summarize, Seatone GLME, one marine natural product that contains the components that the body requires to effectively relieve the symptoms of both rheumatoid and osteo arthritis without inducing the classical adverse side effects associated with many drug therapies. An excellent example of the therapeutic potential of the seas.

Advisory: This is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of medical complaints. It is for information purposes only.
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