Green lip mussel extract reduces damage to muscles after extreme exertion

If you take green lip mussel extract for a couple of weeks and then subject your muscles to unusually heavy exertion, you can reduce the unavoidable muscle damage. It’ll mean less muscle soreness and a speedier recovery, American sports scientists discovered. It’s a shame though that the dose of the extract required is unaffordable for most people.

The green lip mussel – Perna canaliculus in Latin – lives off the coast of New Zealand. Pharmalink [], a Hong Kong based company, makes the patented extract PCSO-524 from the mussels and sells it to supplements manufacturers under the trade names Lyprinol and Omega XL.

Green lip mussel extract comes in capsules, most of which contain 50 mg extract.


Green lip mussel extract contains 91 fatty acids. The most important is oleic acid, which is also found in large quantities in olive oil.

In addition, the extract also contains oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, phenols that are also found in virgin olive oil – and in even bigger quantities in olive leaf extract.

In a study sponsored by Pharmalink, sports scientist Timothy Mickleborough of the School of Public Health-Bloomington gave 16 untrained male students 1200 mg green lip mussel extract every day for 26 days. That’s easily 24 capsules a day. If you’re unlucky that’d cost you 15 euros or 16 US dollars a day.

Mickleborough gave 16 other male students a placebo for 26 days.

At the end of the 26 days the students had to run at 70 percent of their maximal oxygen uptake on a treadmill set at 16 degrees downhill for 20 minutes. If you aren’t used to that, it’s guaranteed to give you mighty sore muscles. For four days after the treadmill session the students continued to take their green lip mussel extract or placebo.

The figure below shows that the sore muscles disappeared more quickly in the students who had taken green lip mussel extract.



During the first days the students had less power in their leg muscles, but recovery was quicker in the students who took green lip mussel extract, as the figure above shows.

After the running session the students who had taken green lip mussel extract had less creatine kinase and TNF-alpha in their blood. That means that the extract had protected their muscles.


How exactly green lip mussel extract protects the muscles is not clear from this study. But the researchers don’t think that the fish fatty acids EPA and DHA have much to do with the protective effect. The students only consumed 58 and 44 mg respectively of these fatty acids.

According to researcher Timothy Mickleborough, green lip mussel extract is an interesting supplement for athletes. “These findings might have positive implications for triathletes if they’re doing several different types of exercises, and it could potentially help diminish soreness in multisport, recreational athletes as well”, he said in an interview with NutraIngredients USA. [ 3-Mar-2015] “Essentially, for anyone who is engaging in unaccustomed exercise, it’s a nice product.”

The effects PCSO-524, a patented marine oil lipid and omega-3 PUFA blend derived from the New Zealand green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus), on indirect markers of muscle damage and inflammation after muscle damaging exercise in untrained men: a randomized, placebo controlled trial.


The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of PCSO-524®, a marine oil lipid and n-3 LC PUFA blend, derived from New Zealand green- lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus), on markers of muscle damage and inflammation following muscle damaging exercise in untrained men.

Thirty two untrained male subjects were randomly assigned to consume 1200 mg/d of PCSO- 524® (a green-lipped mussel oil blend) or placebo for 26 d prior to muscle damaging exercise (downhill running), and continued for 96 h following the muscle damaging exercise bout. Blood markers of muscle damage (skeletal muscle slow troponin I, sTnI; myoglobin, Mb; creatine kinase, CK), and inflammation (tumor necrosis factor, TNF-?), and functional measures of muscle damage (delayed onset muscle soreness, DOMS; pressure pain threshold, PPT; knee extensor joint range of motion, ROM; isometric torque, MVC) were assessed pre- supplementation (baseline), and multiple time points post-supplementation (before and after muscle damaging exercise). At baseline and 24 h following muscle damaging exercise peripheral fatigue was assessed via changes in potentiated quadriceps twitch force (?Qtw,pot) from pre- to post-exhaustive cycling ergometer test in response to supra-maximal femoral nerve stimulation.

Compared to placebo, supplementation with the green-lipped mussel oil blend significantly attenuated (p?< ?0.05) sTnI and TNF-? at 2, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h., Mb at 24, 48, 72, 96 h., and CK-MM at all-time points following muscle damaging exercise, significantly reduced (p?