A clinical trial conducted by Asthma New Zealand and recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, points to a trend suggesting that children suffering from asthma may improve their quality of life by taking oil extract derived from Perna canaliculus called PCSO-524® (Lipid fractions of the New Zealand Green lipped mussel) (Tradename Lyprinol®).
While further research is required, the study concluded that while the supplementation of PCSO-524® did not reduce the amount of medication the children were taking, “there were trends noted to improved quality of life (Juniper Scale Measure) and a decreased rate of moderate asthma exacerbations in those children randomised to the active compound*.”
Study leader, Jim Lello said: “This is the first time we have had information on the use of Lyprinol®, a nutraceutical containing the lipid fractions (oil) of the NZ Green lipped mussel, in children with moderate to severe asthma. Although the primary outcome of steroid sparing was not demonstrated this was an ambitious target. Several secondary outcome measures (e.g quality of life measures and reduction in exacerbations) showed trends suggesting benefit in this group of children with troublesome asthma”.
Colleen Brady, mother of one of the participants in the trial, James, said when asked about the physical benefits noticed, “James’s breathing was far better and he could play the trumpet and saxophone with very little trouble.” Another parent of a child in the trial, Tom Bogdanowicz, reported, “Noah was able to significantly reduce his intake his asthma medication during the time he took Lyprinol®. Obviously at the time of the trial he was not aware whether he was taking Lyprinol® or a placebo so it was good to eventually learn that his improvement had been due to Lyprinol®.”
The Juniper Scale Measure was filled out by the children’s parents and was developed to measure three functional challenges (physical, emotional and social) that are most troublesome to children living with asthma. Lello concludes: “This study does not provide evidence for children stabilised on preventer medication to reduce their inhaled corticosteroid dose but shows some promising results regarding a potential for this product, used in conjunction with existing asthma medication, to reduce exacerbations and improve quality of life for the children and families with moderate to severe chronic persistent asthma. Recruitment of children for the study was challenging in the Greater Auckland area and some analyses were hampered by small numbers in subgroups. The researchers would like to see the results of similarly designed but larger studies in other population groups with moderate to severe asthma".
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The efficacy and safety of an oral standardised lipid extract of New Zealand green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) marketed as Lyprinol® was assessed as maintenance therapy for children with moderate asthma. A total of 71 children aged 6 to 13 years were enrolled in a 16-week, single centre, double-masked, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial and randomly assigned to receive either Lyprinol or placebo (2 capsules twice daily). Patients were maintained on as-needed beta-agonist therapy and inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) throughout the study.
Lyprinol improved the percentage of children reporting little or no trouble with their asthma at three months of treatment (97% vs. 76% p=0.057). Both groups were able to tolerate a dose reduction of ICS. There were fewer mild and moderate asthma exacerbations overall in the Lyprinol group. Lyprinol was well tolerated. It appears from this study that Lyprinol is a safe nutritional supplement for children with moderate asthma and that larger prospective controlled studies should explore its potential use as a nutraceutical in asthma as an addition to conventional treatment. Keywords: Asthma, paediatric, New Zealand green lipped mussel, randomized controlled trial
"The study was conducted on the active ingredient PCSO-524®, which is a unique combination of fatty acids extracted from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel (GLM) by process and then blended with olive oil as a carrier. This particular product has been sold under the brand name Lyprinol® and Omega XL® for human use as a natural anti-inflammatory for nearly 20 years and has been the subject of many clinical trials. The product should not be confused with Mussel powder products."