If you suffer from arthritis, joint pain, crohn’s disease or any other kind of inflammatory condition – you should read this now!
Hi – my name is Brent Marsden, I'm the founder of this site – GreenLippedMusselGuide.Com. I'm not a health professional of any kind (see medical disclaimer) nor am I here to “push” or “market” anything to you that isn't right for you. I'm simply an “average Joe” who has suffered from chronic back pain, knee pain and other joint inflammation since 2006. Having had such amazing results from using this little known health supplement, I felt compelled to “get the word out there” in the hope of letting others discover the benefits I have experienced over the last two years. I hope that doesn't sound too “pious” – it's not meant to be – it's just that I really have been astonished at the results I have achieved in a relatively short space of time – in fact, I'm now 95% pain free and leading my life in a way that I thought I would never do again. My story is quite long – if you just want to read the outcome feel free to skip to the last few paragraphs – otherwise, grab a hot drink and read on …
Now let me guess – you're searching online today for a health supplement with the curious name of green lipped mussel, green mussels, greenshell mussels or simply New Zealand mussels (their country of origin). Most people have heard or read something about the supplement in relation to arthritis, joint pain and inflammation. Maybe you or a loved one suffers from one of these conditions. Maybe you've tried treatment with pharmaceutical drugs and you're not satisfied with the results you've achieved. What's more – maybe you're now at a point where you are increasingly suspicious of many arthritis/joint pain supplements and drugs available – as to whether they can make a difference in treating your condition. Dare I say it – you may have become cynical and despondent. So who do you trust and where next do you turn?
That was me, more or less, about two years ago …
In 2006 my life changed dramatically … here’s what happened …
Two events, only one week apart, almost instantly destroyed my ability to continue with the physical work I had been doing. Severe pain in my left knee developed intermittently (almost overnight) meaning that if I tried to lift any weight at all my left knee would just completely give way, causing me to crash to the ground. It seemed to be able to handle my own body weight (just) but I didn't dare lift any weight of any kind for fear of another event. I also found that I needed to constantly protect the knee from any twisting motion as I would “go through the roof” with stabbing pain.
Then, if that wasn't bad enough, just one week later, I found myself on the floor unable to move, as a result of excruciating back pain. To this day I am not sure exactly what I did or how I moved in order for the back pain to occur but it took 10 days for me to recover to a point of being able to walk again very carefully and I have incurred similar regular events since – about every 3 months.
Naturally, living with the constant uncertainty of when the next event would occur – my life as a courier was well and truly over. At the “tender” age of just 45 years, I found myself with no income, very poor health and limited prospects. And all of this had eventuated within one month. Mentally I found this extremely hard to handle. My family were tremendous in their love and support and, luckily I had always kept up my income protection insurance cover – so we were covered for 24 months which gave me a chance to try to sort out my life and look for a treatment or cure.
Here began the “journey of discovery” …
I was determined to improve my lot – at 45 I felt completely cheated of my enjoyment of life and I made a commitment to myself and to my family that I was going to do everything I could to get better without question. I couldn't face the thought of having to be “careful” for the rest of my life, sitting on the couch watching TV.
Although I completely respect the orthodox medical profession, I have always shared a reluctance to consume pharmaceutical drugs unless absolutely necessary. I felt, given that most of what I appeared to be suffering was “mechanical” in nature, that I would be best to see an orthopaedic surgeon/specialist first. My GP (General Practitioner) made the necessary referrals (forgive me if some of this sounds a little foreign to my American readers – I hope you can understand the slightly different medical terms and jargon we use in New Zealand – also, I'm sure you've noticed by now that I use British English – so lets move on …). My surgeon, Dr Clayton Chan, carried out a thorough examination and asked me all kinds of questions related to my past work history etc. On his recommendation, I was booked in for an MRI scan the following week. The results were to be a complete surprise.
At my next visit Clayton explained to me that the results of the scan had shown that my spine and knee were displaying degeneration more or less commensurate with my age. In other words, I wasn't displaying anything overt or dramatic in nature which would require any kind of urgent surgery. He did indicate that there was some minor back surgery that he could perform if I wanted it – but he said there was a 50/50 chance that it would not be effective.
These results initially shocked me …
I was expecting something dramatic and obvious – and I felt very confused as to why I was so debilitated, yet nothing extraordinary was evident. After I had finally accepted the scan results I began to see this outcome as positive, as it meant I wasn't going to need any kind of invasive surgery with, maybe, mixed or unsatisfactory results. I felt certain that I had a good chance of managing my state of health – and that there where many natural treatment options that may offer hope – indeed I finally had an overwhelming feeling that, with a little luck on my side, I had a good chance of healing myself naturally. I just had to find that “needle in a haystack” treatment or remedy that would “do the trick”.
I had heard so much about glucosamine and chondroitin tablets that I immediately started to take these regularly at the recommended doses. I knew I could not allow my physical fitness to decline – even though I couldn't participate in anything too vigorous for fear of another knee or back event. I decide to take up Pilates which is a gentler form of exercise and, at the same time, joined a local aqua-robics class which is aerobics performed in the pool – the water supporting my knee and back. Although my back pain had reduced considerably – I was constantly nervous of doing anything that would cause another severe back event. My left knee was constantly sore – with a noticeable dull ache. I was equally aware of not bumping it or twisting it as that would cause a sudden stabbing pain.
So was the glucosamine and chondroitin working?
It was now August 2006 – and I had been taking the glucosamine for approximately six months. Coupled with the exercise I was participating in, I felt my pain was a little, but not markedly, better. I decided to introduce homeopathy and flower essences for a subtle approach to the pain management. I have found both mediums to be remarkable for certain conditions over the years. I didn't expect anything miraculous by doing this but felt it might just add to the low level support I was getting from the physical exercise.
By early 2007 I was convinced I needed to try something else so I decided to supplement with a high quality fish oil whilst maintaining the glucosamine dosage. I had read so many positive things about the impact of supplementing with fish oil for both joint and general good health that I wished I had started using it much sooner than I did. Approximately six months after starting the fish oil – I became convinced that I was starting to notice improvement in my knee in particular. The dull ache had reduced somewhat and I noticed I could bear a little more weight and bumping. With regard to my back, I noticed less soreness in the lower back but still didn't feel confident to take on extra activity. A great bi-product of taking the fish oil is the general improvement in mood and mental health. I was definitely feeling more positive about my prospects. All in all the improvements seemed tangible and promising.
Naturally, I was now curious to know what was making the difference? Was it the combination of glucosamine and the fish oil or was it simply the fish oil alone that was making the improvements. The best way to find out was to take away the glucosamine and see what happened over time. The decision was made – I decided to remove the glucosamine entirely from my supplementation regime and increase the fish oil dosage to 4 softgels per day from the 2 I had been taking. By the end of 2007 it was clear to me that it was the fish oil that was making all the difference and I maintained the dosage from that point on and permanently removed the glucosamine.
Life was definitely on the up – I was feeling more confident to take “risks” with my knee and back, the pain was much reduced and I remember thinking at the time that if this was the best I could achieve then I could maybe live with it for life…. maybe!
I'm a realist – I knew I would never be able to return to the work that I had so enjoyed for so long. I needed to replace my income with something that I could do from home if the worst came to the worst and I was confined to the house. My home computer seemed to be my obvious new “tool of trade”. With that in mind, I started evening classes learning graphic design and found I had a real flair for it – not to mention enjoying the company of a whole cross section of people from different cultures and ages. It was a wonderful distraction from the intermittent pain and uncertainty surrounding my health.
As part of the design training, we were required to pair up with a class buddy on particular projects and I had befriended a talented young guy by the name of Pete on one such project. During one of the class breaks Pete and I got talking about my health issues and what had brought me to seek out these new design skills. The last thing I wanted to do was bore this poor young kid with my health woes – but he seemed generally interested as his mother suffered bad arthritis and had found great success with a supplement called “green lipped mussel extract”. Although this was not the first time I had heard of green lipped mussel extract (it's unique properties had been discovered by a New Zealand scientist back in the late 70's), I had completely forgotten about the supplement over the years and had, up to now, had no reason to reacquaint myself with it. This chance conversation with Pete was to make a significant difference in my long term health – and something in side of me knew that – instantly. I headed straight home that night to seek out every bit of information I could on green lipped mussel – just as you are doing right now.
Maybe, as you have found today searching Google, – the information available on green lipped mussel is somewhat limited (another reason I decided to create this site). Quality information on green lipped mussel is definitely lacking and I intend to change that over time – so please – subscribe to the rss feed at the top of this page if you want to be kept informed of new green lipped mussel information as it becomes available.
Lyprinol was not the answer to my prayers …
Ever keen to advance my recovery, I decided I would definitely try the green lipped mussel extract. After reading what I could find online about the product I settled on the most commonly used brand available – Lyprinol. I followed the recommended dosage which was 4 softgels per day for the first 4-6 weeks then drop back to 2 softgels daily there after. I can't say I really noticed any significant pain reduction for that first 6 weeks – so I was feeling really disappointed given Pete's mother's experience of the product. I wasn't prepared to give up just yet – so decided I would hang in there for another 6 weeks and maintain the full dosage. I thought it best to maintain my intake of fish oil – thereby eliminating any doubt about the results of the Lyprinol supplementation. By week 10 I was certain I had noticed mild improvement, especially in my knee, but nothing major, certainly nothing resembling the profound results I had been reading about in online green lipped mussel testimonials. What was going on?
There is always a danger, when suffering a chronic condition, of becoming too introspective, overly focusing on the self – moment by moment. I needed to take a step back and think sensibly about what I should do next. It was at this moment that I wondered exactly why I hadn't contacted Pete right at the beginning of this whole foray into green lipped mussel treatments and asked the simple and obvious question – what brand of green lipped mussel is your mother using? I can't believe it didn't occur to me sooner – duh? Maybe if I used exactly what she was using in the same dosage that she did – I might have a better chance of getting good results. That brand turned out to be Xtend-Life Green Lipped Mussel Powder – produced right here in the city of Christchurch – my home town! Talk about a solution being right under my nose (or at least a few blocks away).
BUT my prayers were answered …
So it was “goodbye Lyprinol” and “hello Xtend-Life”. The added bonus of switching to Xtend-Life was the monthly saving – a months supply of Xtend-Life Green Lipped Mussel Powder is 75% cheaper than a months supply of Lyprinol. I was a very happy pixie! I started taking the Xtend-Life Green Lipped Mussel Powder capsules mid 2008. At the same time I replaced my current brand of fish oil with Xtend-Life Omega 3/DHA Fish Oil (2000mg dose). After talking directly with Pete's mother Julie, she told me she had been using 4 capsules per day – which is the manufacturers recommended dose. Xtend-Life tell me it is possible to take more if desired as their product is, in essence, like eating a natural whole food (it is quite simply powdered raw shellfish and nothing else) – the risk of side effects is low. I decided to stay with 4 per day which equates to 2400mg of green lipped mussel powder.
The results were powerful … but not immediate …
Julie insisted I persist with the GLM for at least 3 months and she was absolutely right. I found it took me 3-4 months before I noticed very distinct results which just got better and better over the following 2 years. My back events became much less frequent to the point now that I can lift reasonably bulky and heavy items with real confidence. In late 2009 I had one minor event which I controlled quickly by tripling the dose of green lipped mussel extract for one week – that event lasted 48 hours (not ten days as had been the case in the bad old days). I wouldn't be foolish enough to think that I could ever go back to full time work as a courier lifting endless heavy weights – but I am free of regular back pain – and generally feeling much more confident about my daily life. I really don't think too much about any back pain at all now – any tears I shed these days are tears of joy – I really just can't believe how much better my back is.
My knee is also basically back to normal. I have not had any “sudden failures” now for well over 18 months and can place my full weight on it without any noticeable pain. I can bend right down and then push straight up to a standing upright position in one movement without the slightest discomfort – impossible only 2 years ago. No more continuous aching or stabbing pain – it's like there just isn't a problem there now at all. I can't believe I'm actually writing this when I think back to those awful few weeks back in 2006 when my life fell apart so suddenly.
My doctor has been amazed at the results and is taking green lipped mussel much more seriously in her arsenal of arthritis treatments. It goes without saying that I will not be changing my supplementation regime of combining fish oil with green lipped mussel. This natural combination has offered me so many health benefits and given me back the quality of life that I thought I would never see again.
I wouldn't be nai?ve enough to suggest that what has worked for me will work for everybody, but in all seriousness, if you suffer from any kind of inflammatory condition (arthritis, joint pain, Crohn's disease, etc) what do you have to lose by giving this winning combination of fish oil and green lipped mussel a try. I would certainly recommend taking the green lipped mussel first before trying glucosamine. I have had a lot of feedback from people who have used glucosamine first, then switched to green lipped mussel with superior results. I would also recommend that you persist with taking green lipped mussel for at least 3 months (maybe 6 months) as, I personally found the results take time to appear.
PS If you, or someone you know, has used green lipped mussel then please refer them to my testimonials page – and invite them to leave their experience/comments on the page for others to read. I relish all feedback.