Novel marine oil lipid blend may offer exercise recovery benefits: RCT

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Jovanmandic / Getty Images
© Jovanmandic / Getty Images

Related tags green-lipped mussel Krill oil exercise recovery

A novel combination of green-lipped mussel oil and krill oil may protect joints following exercise more than green-lipped mussel oil alone, says a new study from Indiana University.

The combination was also deemed ‘at least as good’ as green-lipped mussel oil for decreasing markers of muscle damage and soreness following eccentric exercise, according to findings published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to date, which has demonstrated the efficacy of combining a blend of New Zealand green-lipped mussel and krill oil in mitigating indirect makers of muscle damage and inflammation following eccentric exercise,” ​wrote the researchers.

The combination product included Pharmalink International’s PCSO-524 oil (Lyprinol/Omega-XL) derived from New Zealand green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus​) and Antarctic krill oil (Euphausia superba​) in a 75% to 25% ratio. Hong Kong-based Pharmalink International funded the study.

Study details

The Indiana University researchers recruited 51 untrained men to participate in their randomized, double-blind, and parallel group study. The men were randomly assigned to consume 600 mg/d of PCSO-524 or the mussel-krill oil combination (designated ESPO-572) for 26 days and then underwent a downhill running bout. Supplementation continued for an additional 72 hours.

The results showed that the interventions produced similar results for lessening the increases in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) 24, 48, and 72 hours post-exercise, while both also offered joint protection at 48 and 72 hours.

However, consumption of the combination product led to significantly greater joint range of motion compared to the PCSO-524 group.

Mechanisms of action

Commenting on the potential mechanisms of action to explain the combination product’s superiority for range of motion, the researchers noted that krill oil contains astaxanthin (an antioxidant) and unique phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidic acid, which may boost muscle recovery by facilitating muscle protein synthesis.

“Our data support the use of ESPO-572, a novel nutraceutical, in mitigating the deleterious effects of [exercise-induced muscle damage] in untrained men,” ​wrote the researchers.

“Although the data from the present study is encouraging, future investigations using ESPO-572 to reduce [exercise-induced muscle damage] and inflammation should look at various other demographics such as trained athletes and the elderly,” ​they concluded.

Source: Journal of Dietary Supplements
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1080/19390211.2020.1853649
“Effectiveness of a combined New Zealand green-lipped mussel and Antarctic krill oil supplement on markers of exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation in untrained men”
Authors: M.J. Barenie,

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