Asthma research (3)

Marine lipid fraction pcso-524tm (Lyprinol®/Omega xl®) of the new zealand green-lipped mussel attenuates hyperpnea-induced bronchoconstriction in asthma1 : Published in Respiratory Medicine July Edition

 Researchers: Timothy D. Mickleborough., Cherissa L Vaughn., Ren-Jay Shei., Eliza M. Davis and Daniel P. Wilhite; School of Public Health-Bloomington, Department of Kinesiology, Human Performance and Exercise Biochemistry Laboratory, University of Indiana, USA.

Aim: To evaluate the effect of green-lipped mussel oil supplementation on the airways of people with exercise-induced asthma, in response..

Study participants: 20 participants (aged 20-24 years) with hyperpnea-induced bronchoconstriction - also known as Exercise-Induced Asthma (EIA) or Exercise Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB) - and a history of shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing after exercise, which was relieved by rescue medication (puffer). None of the participants took daily maintenance medication, but all used rescue medication.

Method: In the randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover study, the participants were split into two groups – one taking eight tablets of green-lipped mussel oil supplements per day for three weeks and the other group taking a placebo. This was followed by a two-week “wash out” diet to revert to baseline readings, before subjects switched to the alternate diet.

The green-lipped mussel oil supplement used in the study was PCSO-524TM (marketed in Australia as Lyprinol). It is an extract of stabilised lipids from the New Zealand green- lipped mussel, combined with olive oil and vitamin E. It includes the five main lipid classes: sterol esters, sterols, polar lipids, triglycerides and free fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Participants kept a daily asthma diary for three weeks prior to the study to determine a baseline for asthma symptoms, bronchodilator (puffer) use, and peak flow measurements indicating how narrow or obstructed their airways were. A diary was also kept during the trial.

At the end of each three-week period participants underwent pulmonary function tests, before being subjected to a eucapnic voluntary hyperventilation –(EVH) challenge test, which mimics the type of environment and breathing that is experienced during exercise.

After the EVH challenge, a second round of pulmonary function tests were conducted along with a series of urine and exhaled breath tests to measure various markers of airway inflammation.

After three weeks of green-lipped mussel supplementation the following was observed:

  • A decrease in the use of rescue medication by an average of 5-10 puffs a day;
  • A 57% improvement in lung function (forced expiratory volume) after the EVH challenge test;
  • Improvements in asthma symptom scores and peak flow measurements; and
  • A decrease in urinary and exhaled markers of airway inflammation markers after the EVH challenge test.

What is Exercise Induced Asthma:
Exercise-induced asthma – also known as Exercise Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB) or Hyperpnea-Induced Bronchoconstriction (HIB) - is a term commonly used to describe the temporary narrowing of the airways that follows vigorous exercise, particularly in a dry environment. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, excessive mucus production, difficulty breathing, and/or a tight chest.

Australian Statistics on Exercise Induced Asthma:
Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA) is a common condition that impacts 4 million people in Australia. This represents 90 per cent of Australia’s two million asthmatics and up to 10 per cent of the population who do not have asthma. EIA affects people that exercise at any level - from the everyday jogger to the elite athlete, including up to 20 per cent of Olympic athletes.


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