Significant results were noted for both objective and subjective evaluations after the study.
Participants who took the GSM powder experienced an improvement in muscle contractions at 48 hours and 72 hours post-exercise (p < 0.05), and lower muscle damage at 72 hours post-exercise (p < 0.05). They also reported that the muscle soreness went away quickly, compared to the placebo group.
Funded by NZ’s National Science Challenge, High Value Nutrition, the project emerged as a public-private partnership to investigate the benefits of home-grown greenshell mussels on inflammation, metabolism, and muscular skeletal function.
Earlier in December 2022, the same researchers from NZ Institute for Plant and Food Research, Cawthron Institute, Massey University, AgResearch, and Sanford – NZ’s largest seafood company – published another study of the similar intervention reducing knee pain among post-menopausal women.
Project representative from Cawthron Institute, Dr. Matt Miller, told NutraIngredients-Asia that the team is pending release of clinical trial results of GSM supplementation on a large cohort of elderly participants.
“We are now working with two different industry bodies, in food and nutraceuticals, to make the most of the results with good communication to consumers and markets. We want to leverage 30 years of research of GSM extracts to enhance the industry to make sure the industry and consumers get the most benefits,” he said regarding the partnership prospects of the research.
Mussel’s potential as a health supplement
Traditionally consumed in its seafood form, recent literature had uncovered its potential in the supplement form and the wealth of health benefits it is linked to. Specifically in muscle recovery, the study wrote:
“The benefits of GSM oil in supporting muscle recovery from EIMD have been attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of bioactive constituents including in the!-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)), sterols, sterol esters and polar lipids.
“GSM oil has been previously demonstrated to attenuate arachidonic acid metabolism to inflammatory eicosanoids and leukotrienes by dually inhibiting cyclooxygenase-2 and lipoxygenase enzyme activities post exercise.”
Researchers had wanted to put to test whether GSM powder had the same properties as GSM oil when it comes to muscle recovery for untrained individuals who exercise.
This was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over intervention study conducted with 20 untrained adult men aged 21 to 45 years old over the course of four weeks.
Randomised into two groups, the GSM group consumed six capsules (equivalent to 3 g) of PernaUltra – flash-dried whole meat GSM powder from Sanford, while the placebo consumed six capsules (3g) of the placebo powder daily.
After four weeks, all participants were asked to complete a bench-stepping exercise. They then returned to the testing facility 24-, 48- and 72-hours post-exercise for their assessments that constituted questionnaires for subjective scoring, blood test, and an isokinetic dynamometer.
“These findings support the potential benefits of GSM powder as a functional food for supporting muscle recovery in untrained men.
“Further research is required to investigate whether GSM confer similar benefits in untrained women and trained athletes. Future research to characterise whether the efficacy of GSM powder in supporting muscle recovery is mediated by the immune-modulatory properties of GSM powder constituents is recommended,” the paper concluded.
“The Efficacy of New Zealand Greenshell™ Mussel Powder Supplementation in Supporting Muscle Recovery Following Eccentric Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage in Healthy, Untrained Adult Males”
Authors: Lomiwes, D., et al.