A new US study reveals a greater connection between mussels and muscles than previously thought.
Indiana University kinesiology professor Timothy Mickleborough found that a pre-exercise supplement of the omega-3 PCSO-524, a marine oil lipid derived from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel, has significant positive effects on post-exercise muscle damage.
Supplements containing green-lipped mussel are already taken by some people to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis. According to Arthritis Research UK, extracts contain omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, minerals and carbohydrates. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and are important for maintaining joint cell structure and function. This might be one of the ways green-lipped mussel works in some people, the charity said.
In Mickleborough´s study, which was supported by a grant from supplement maker Pharmalink International Ltd, 32 men who exercise less than three times a week were randomly given either the marine oil supplement or a placebo for 26 days before a muscle-damaging exercise session and for 96 hours afterwards.
Results showed that the men who took the green-lipped mussel supplement experienced less muscle soreness, less muscle pain, less strength loss, less fatigue and less inflammatory proteins in the bloodstream. Overall, these participants experienced less bodily stress after their workout in comparison to the subjects who were given the placebo, according to a report by Indiana University.
In a paper published by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, Mickleborough concluded that supplementation with this type of marine oil may represent a useful therapeutic agent for attenuating muscle damage and inflammation following muscle-damaging exercise.