Green Lipped Mussel Extract: What You May Not Know

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in Inflammation, Nutritional Supplements

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It’s natural to wonder what exactly is green lipped mussel extract. After all, the term doesn’t give too much away, does it? Let’s start by taking a look at the mussel and discovering a bit more about this remarkable natural anti inflammatory.

The green lipped mussel is a shellfish that’s native to New Zealand. Scientifically, it’s known as Perna canaliculus. As you can see from the photo, its name comes from the green lip around the edge of its shell. This mussel is one of the largest mussel species in existence, and can grow up to 240 mm in length.

Mussel cultivation is big business in New Zealand. Not only are these mussels used for their health benefits, they’re served up in a variety of tasty dishes too. The mussels are grown in dedicated farms in the pristine waters of New Zealand, usually in sheltered waters close to the shore. However, new technological developments mean that larger mussel farms can be constructed further offshore and in more exposed waters.

The mussels grow on ropes hanging below the surface of the water. The mussel industry operates within some of the strictest 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.

What’s So Special About These Mussels?

In short, the raw mussels are extremely nutritious. A study has shown that 100 g of them (flesh only, no shells, frozen) comes with 1.5 g of DHA, 1.26 g of EPA, and not even half a gram of omega-6 fats. For those who don’t know much about fatty acids, DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) are two long chain forms of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent for heart, brain and circulatory health.

However, the mussels are exceptional in that they’re also a high source of a rare and powerful form of Omega-3 fatty acid called Eicosatetraenoic Acid (ETA). This has been shown to have highly anti-inflammatory properties, more so than any other Omega-3 sources. The raw mussel also contains a unique and vital group of complex carbohydrates known as mucopolysaccherides (commonly referred to as MPS and these days also called glycosaminoglycans).

MPS is also found in the human body and plays a significant role in metabolism, growth, and health. Unfortunately, it declines rapidly with age, but green lipped mussels can give our MPS levels a natural boost and slow down the aging process. The health benefits from green lipped mussels are wide ranging and impressive, particularly in regards to providing a cure for arthritis.

Of course, it’s not possible for everyone to eat raw mussels though. To overcome the problem, companies have found ways of turning the mussels in to readily consumable extract. The extract commonly comes in two forms: mussel oil and mussel powder. The oil has also been added to lesser known gels and creams.

How the Mussel Extract is Made is Important

We really can’t stress enough how important the manufacturing process is on the quality and potency of the green lipped mussel extract.

There are a number of steps in the manufacturing process:

  • Remove the mussels from the shells.
  • Dry the mussels out and remove moisture to convert to powder form.
  • If manufacturing mussel oil, extract the oil component from the powder.
  • Package the oil or powder into soft gels or capsules.

The problem is that the manufacturing process can vary widely depending on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers steam open the mussels and get the meat out, while some open the shells manually by hand. Using heat is an issue because it destroys the nutritional value of the mussels, which is found in their raw state.

The lipids in the mussels are also highly prone to oxidization. Cooking the mussels when removing them prevents this oxidization from occurring, but also delivers an extract of little health benefit. The solution is either to stabilize the mussels (usually by using chemical stabilizers such as tartaric acid or oxalic acid) or process them very quickly so that they don’t get a chance to deteriorate.

Another thing to keep in mind with green lipped mussel extract is that while the mussel oil may contain concentrated lipids (fats), it represents only around 10% of the powder that it’s derived from. The rest of the powder is discarded, and with it a lot of remaining nutrients that the mussels can provide.

It’s well worth investigating when you’re considering buying a particular supplement. Unfortunately, most manufacturers don’t want to give away too much, for fear of competition. However, the most impressive company we’ve come across so far, Xtend-Life, has put together a FREE detailed Green Lipped Mussel Buyer’s Guide. It contains a wealth of information about their unique manufacturing process, and how it differs to others used in the industry.

Find Out More About Green Lipped Mussel Extract

Have a read of the buyer’s guide and you’ll see why we recommend Xtend-Life Green Lipped Mussel Powder so highly. You can try it RISK FREE, as the manufacturer offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

We Use and Recommend!

Xtend-Life because they are a family owned company specializing in development of innovative products to meet specific needs.

Xtend-Life combines top quality raw ingredients that are laboratory-tested, with superior manufacturing practices. Satisfaction is guaranteed, or your money back!

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