Published: Sunday May 25, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday June 4, 2014 MYT 6:49:33 PM

The mighty mussel

An extract of the New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel inhibits joint ageing enzymes that can potentially destroy joint cartilage and lead to arthritis.

THOSE who suffer from joint complaints not only have a problem with diminishing cartilage in their joints. There is also a problem arising from a biochemical imbalance.

One of the key causal agents of this imbalance is joint ageing enzymes (scientifically known as Matrix Metalloproteinases or MMPs) in the joints.

All of us have certain levels of joint ageing enzymes in the joints, which exist normally in a balanced state.

Joint problems manifest when the levels of these enzymes increase too much, resulting in joints breaking down faster than they can re-built.

Although the affected joint will try to repair itself, it often fails because of persisting high levels of the enzymes.

It doesn’t stop there. Joint damage further provokes the immune system to trigger inflammatory responses, which lead to inflamed, swollen and painful joints.

Prolonged inflammation eventually leads to the formation of bone spurs, resulting in limited joint movement and pain.

However, nature has provided a solution to rectify this in the form of a marine denizen from New Zealand.

Historical records show that the native Maoris living along the coast of New Zealand did not suffer from joint problems or arthritis owing to their diet of fresh, raw New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel.

It was not until the 1970s that an extract from this mussel was developed, and it has been a boon to many people suffering from arthritis.

Initially, it was not known how this extract works. However, advancements in biotechnology in the past 10 years has enabled scientists to understand how the extract works – it’s a natural joint ageing enzyme inhibitor that can correct the imbalance of the enzymes in the joint.

When levels of these enzymes are controlled, it allows for the joints to repair and “clean-up” areas of damaged joint surfaces, including bone spurs.

The extract also has antioxidant properties, and demonstrates several significant anti-inflammatory actions, including preventing immune cells from indiscriminately attacking our joints.

Although there is no cure for arthritis, it is possible to control the condition. Joint preservation is key to man’s functional longevity. The extract in effect helps slow arthritis from progressing through controlling the joint ageing enzymes at all joints, be it the knees, shoulders, neck, back or fingers.

The extract works differently from glucosamine in aiding joint repair. Glucosamine is linked to a supply of raw ingredients for joint cells to utilise to repair damaged cartilage (i.e. food for joint cartilage) and does not have any effect on joint ageing enzymes.

Just as arthritis doesn’t develop overnight, the process of restoring joints will also take time, especially if the process involves tackling the root of the problem.

A landmark study lead by Kendall, Lawson and Hurley in 2000 showed that the mussel extract has a 70% success rate for reducing arthritis pain. However, those who take it need to undergo a course of at least three months before effects are felt.

The mussel extract is not a painkiller. Hence, those who consume it stll need to take painkillers initially before the benefits kick in.

An additional benefit of the extract is its stomach-protecting properties. It helps protect the stomach when taken together with painkillers, leading to a reduction in gastric lesions by more than 50%.

In the long run, when joint ageing enzymes are in balance, those with arthritic pain may find that they need not rely on their painkillers any more.

With a research history of 40 years, the extract is probably one of the most enduring joint products in the world today, testament of its quality, safety and effectiveness.

In 2005, the Australian Centre for Complementary Research and Education (ACCMER) awarded the extract the Ideal Anti-Arthritic Agent accolade. It is used in more than 25 countries worldwide and is now available in Malaysia.

This article is brought to you by the Nuvaceuticals Division of Nuvanta. For more information, call 03-5636 3758 or 1300 88 1712; or e-mail The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader’s own medical care. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.

Tags / Keywords: Health, mussel extract, joint pain


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