New Zealand Green Lip Mussel – What is it?
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New Zealand greenlip mussel is an abbreviated name used to describe the more commonly known New Zealand green lipped mussel (the scientific name is perna canaliculus). It is a large green and gold coloured mollusc or shellfish which is found, almost exclusively, in the waters surrounding New Zealand. It is known, without question, to contain fatty acids and other natural compounds with anti-inflammatory properties.
Greenlip mussel is also known by a number of other similar names including green mussel, greenshell mussel, New Zealand mussels and perna mussels. Green lip mussel is endemic to the coastal waters of New Zealand. The indigenous people of New Zealand are the Maori. They settled the land more than 1000 years ago and, to this day, greenlip mussel remains a staple part of their diet. Although western influences have impacted these people’s traditional lifestyles, many Maori suffer less from the effects of inflammatory conditions like arthritis and joint pain due largely to the amount of lipid extract contained in the mussel in their diet.
It is more than 35 years since New Zealand scientists formally identified the anti-inflammatory properties of greenlip mussels. Since then a thriving international industry has developed marketing fresh whole shelled or unshelled mussels to many parts of the world. Research on the benefits of New Zealand green-lipped mussel has seen an explosion in green lipped mussels supplements produced for those who suffer from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, joint pain and crohn’s disease. The green lipped mussel capsules and green lipped mussel extract (or powder) are the two most common forms of supplement. Complementary products that enhance these green lip supplements include omega 3/dha fish oil capsules and certain plant sterols found in foods like rice bran oil and sterol rich spreads.
Dried whole green lip mussel powder consists of the following:
- Protein (as amino acids) 60 – 62 %
- Complex Carbohydrates 12 – 13 %
- Chondroitin Sulfates 11 – 12 %
- Lipids 4 – 5 %
- Minerals 5 – 6 %
There are a number of important health benefits derived from consuming greenlip mussels (or in their powdered form). They include the two main ones which are relief from joint pain and reduced inflammation . Other less well known benefits are healthier skin hair and nails, improved blood circulation, a boosted immunity, healthier nerve cell functioning and stronger teeth and bones to name but a few.
Some people may have concerns as to any side effects which may occur whilst consuming green lip mussels. Due to this product being so whole and natural, the only cases of anything resembling side effects would be where people have consumed the product when they knew they had an allergy to shellfish. There have been some rare cases of diarrhea, nausea, and mild skin rashes. All in all green lip mussel seems remarkably safe – as ever you would expect from a product based so closely to nature. If more detail about side effects is important to you, I suggest you may like to do an online search for articles by: paul easton who specialises in greenlip mussel topics – this may pre-empt your concerns.