A green lipped mussel from New Zealand may come to the aid of asthma sufferers all over the world and improve the performance of athletes with asthma.
A unique omega-3 supplement derived from the mussel has been found to significantly help people who suffer from exercise induced asthma which is also found in 10pc of elite athletes.
The supplement improved lung function by 59pc and reduced airway inflammation in these patients.
The findings are similar to those found with fish oil but required a much smaller dosage.
The study under Prof Timothy Mickleborough of the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, also found patients needed less emergency medication.
“Not only does it reduce symptoms, which will make you feel better, but it potentially could improve athletic performance,” Mickleborough said.
“Any time you can reduce medication is good.”
In exercise-induced asthma, vigorous exercise triggers an acute narrowing of the airway afterward, making breathing difficult.
Other symptoms include coughing, tightening of the chest and excessive fatigue. About 90pc of people with asthma have this condition, which also is found in an estimated 10pc or more of elite athletes and as much as 10pc of the general population without asthma.
Mickleborough’s study used a patented extract of stabilized lipids from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel, combined with olive oil and vitamin E.
Previous studies involving this extract have found it to be effective in treating osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Mickleborough’s study is the first to show that it is effective in reducing the airway inflammation experienced by asthmatic study participants diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma.
The study is published in the online journal Respiratory Medicine.