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Fact checked by Robert Iafelice, MS, RD, LDNFACT CHECKED
October 02, 2023
Joint health is a crucial factor in maintaining an active and pain-free lifestyle. Without it, you're going to experience limitations in your mobility, discomfort during daily activities, and a reduced quality of life. Joint supplements are designed to boost the health of your ligaments, tendons, and joints and help relieve nagging pain. Many of them, however, are underwhelming when it comes to quality ingredients and dosages. Osteo Bi-Flex is not one of them.
In fact, this is one of the highest-dosed and quality ingredient-packed joint supplements we've come across. But that doesn't necessarily make it a joint supplement you should be taking.
Read on to find out the good, bad, and the ugly regarding Osteo Bi-Flex.
Table Of Contents
Osteo Bi-Flex is a natural joint health supplement manufactured by Nestle Health Science. The Osteo Bi-Flex brand has been around for a quarter of a century, establishing itself as a market leader. The official website claims that this product will help improve joint comfort in just seven days. It is also marketed as an alternative treatment for osteoarthritis.
There are several different Osteo Bi-Flex formulations, each with its ingredient formulation and dosages. However, five active ingredients are common across all versions. These are:
Osteo-Bi-Flex is available from several online and bricks and mortar retailers. The triple-strength version of Osteo Bi-Flex costs $21.49 on Amazon.
When it comes to joint health supplements - or any dietary supplement, for that matter - Osteo Bi-Flex is a bit of an anomaly, especially for a somewhat jaded reviewer used to dealing with underdosed and under-researched ingredients.
Even though the Osteo Bi-Flex formula does hold the potential for joint relief, its formulation prevent us from endorsing it. Instead, we suggest you check out FlexAgain, a relatively new joint supplement with a more complete ingredient profile and is more safely dosed.
Overall Verdict: FAIL
Let's now drill down on the six active ingredients that are the foundation of Osteo Bi-Flex.
Although vitamin C is not a major ingredient targeted specifically for joint support, it is crucial for the overall health of the connective tissues and joints. It is needed to form connective tissue and has potent antioxidant properties that can reduce oxidative stress, which can cause joint inflammation.
Vitamin C also contributes to the production of the joint cartilage matrix, which is necessary for the joints' cushioning and shock-absorbing abilities.
The 60 mg dosage provided here is pretty low, being less than the RDA.
The trace mineral manganese is needed as a cofactor in collagen production . It is also a component of antioxidant enzymes. Damage to joint tissues and oxidative stress can be brought on by free radicals, which antioxidants help combat.
Manganese is also needed for building strong bones. The 2 mg dose provided in Osteo Bi-Flex is appropriate.
Sodium is a mineral frequently linked to table salt (sodium chloride), and it is a necessary nutrient for maintaining a number of physiological processes in the body. Despite being a key electrolyte that helps balance the body's fluids, it's not a common joint health supplement.
The natural compound glucosamine is found in cartilage, which acts as a padded, shock-absorbing tissue. Supplementary glucosamine is believed to help joints to function properly, keeping them healthy and intact. Glucosamine may also have anti-inflammatory characteristics that might help treat illnesses like osteoarthritis by reducing joint pain and inflammation .
Due to some reports of a possible blood glucose effects, people with diabetes or a family history of diabetes should monitor their blood glucose levels just to be safe when taking Osteo Bi-Flex.
Because of its possible anti-inflammatory effects, Boswellia serrata, a resin extract from the Boswellia tree, has a long history of traditional usage in Ayurvedic medicine.
5-LOXIN Advanced is a branded form of this compound used in Osteo Bi-Flex. It contains active substances known as boswellic acids that have anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory characteristics of these substances are thought to help lessen inflammation and improve joint discomfort. One of the most potent boswellic acids, AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid), is standardized to be present in high concentrations in 5-LOXIN Advanced.
According to some research, those who have osteoarthritis may significantly benefit from Boswellia serrata . The average range of Boswellia serrata dosages used in joint health supplements is consistent with a dosage of 100 mg.
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) and chondroitin sulfate are thought to complement joint health. Chondroitin sulfate, a naturally occurring component of cartilage, promotes joint health by supporting cartilage's hydration and structural integrity.
This may result in less joint pain, improved comfort, and more fluid joint mobility. Chondroitin sulfate is also believed to have modest anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce joint inflammation and relieve symptoms of disorders like osteoarthritis .
MSM is a naturally occurring substance that can be found in a variety of foods and plants . Collagen, connective tissues, and joint structures all depend on sulfur. MSM also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
This complex acts very much like glucosamine, which makes its inclusion questionable, especially considering the very high glucosamine HCL dosage.
The dosage of 1103 mg appears to be adequate; however, we don't know exactly how much of each compound we're getting.
Here's what Nestle Health Science claims Osteo Bi-Flex will do for you:
Chondroitin sulfate and MSM may support cartilage health, preserve joint integrity, and lower inflammation. Glucosamine may help with cartilage repair, and Boswellia may be able to reduce inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory qualities of 5-LOXIN Advanced, a concentrated version of Boswellia serrata, are well established. It might help in lowering joint inflammation during sporadic flare-ups, relieving discomfort.
MSM and chondroitin sulfate can support cartilage, which can be crucial during times of joint stress or flare-ups, to promote joint health. When joints are experiencing increasing discomfort, glucosamine may help mend and maintain joint tissues.
Osteo Bi-Flex contains natural ingredients considered safe when taken in moderate dosages. The red flag ingredient in this product is glucosamine HCL, which is highly dosed at 1500 mg. Quite a number of verified purchasers have reported some or all of the following side effects:
The following groups might benefit from taking Osteo Bi-Flex:
Adults with Joint Pain or Stiffness: Adults with joint discomfort, stiffness, or sporadic joint pain frequently take Osteo Bi-Flex. Conditions including osteoarthritis, excessive joint use, or aging-related joint wear and tear can all cause these symptoms.
Athletes: Osteo Bi-Flex may be taken as part of a joint support regimen by athletes, fitness enthusiasts, or anyone who engages in regular physical activity. Supplements for joint health may help maintain function and lessen knee pain, shoulder pain, and more, as physical activity can stress the joints.
Seniors: Joint problems become more severe and prevalent as people age. Seniors and older adults may take proactive steps to maintain joint health, treat arthritis, and improve mobility by using Osteo Bi-Flex.
You should take one capsule of Osteo Bi-Flex daily. There is no specific recommended time of the day recommended. Most people tend to take it first thing in the morning with a glass of water and breakfast. Taking it with a light meal will help with nutrient absorption.
Here are three Osteo Bi-Flex alternative products that have been thoroughly reviewed by us here at Set-for-Set and achieved our seal of approval:
FlexAgain is a newcomer to the joint supplement market that is turning a lot of heads. It's packed with a wide range of powerful ingredients, including Omega-3, Curcumin Extract, Glucosamine HCl, Chondroitin, Bromelain, Boswellic acid, Resveratrol, and key vitamins like vitamin D and K2. This diverse blend covers all the bases for joint support.
What sets FlexAgain apart is its commitment to quality. The 1100 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids is a notable inclusion, providing essential fatty acids for joint lubrication and overall health. Plus, the use of CurcuWIN® for the turmeric extract and AprèsFlex® for Boswellia serrata ensures superior absorption and effectiveness.
While FlexAgain may come with a slightly higher price tag compared to some other joint supplements, we consider it a worthwhile investment in joint health. For many people, the added Omega-3 alone justifies the higher cost, given its overall benefits.
FlexAgain costs $69.47 for a one-month supply and comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Physio Flex Pro is a popular joint health supplement from SRS Nutra. Its ingredient formula includes Selenium, Glucosamine HCl, Bromelain, Ginger Extract, Turmeric Extract, Chondroitin Sulfate, MSM, and Bioperine. SRS uses only high-quality, A1-grade, organic ingredients without additives or fillers, aligning perfectly with their preference for supplements prioritizing purity and efficacy.
Physio Flex Pro claims to be able to provide the following benefits:
Reduce joint pain
Protect from injury
This is the only product that SRS Nutra sells. It is available on the official website for $58 and has a 60-day money-back guarantee. This product is marketed to active people and endorsed by many high-profile athletes.
Performance Lab Flex is the flagship joint supplement from Performance Labs, a long-established and popular player in the health supplement industry. The company is well known for its transparency and third-party testing of all products to ensure purity and potency.
Performance Lab Flex contains the following ingredients:
The inclusion of CurcuWIN® for turmeric and AprèsFlex® for Boswellia serrata enhances the supplement's bioavailability and effectiveness. The ingredients are packed in 100% plant-based nutricaps, making this supplement suitable for vegans.
A one-month supply of Performance Lab Flex is $49, and a 30-day money-back guarantee supports your purchase.
To cover all the bases, let's answer some final lingering questions about Osteo Bi-Flex.
Osteo Bi-Flex seems to relieve joint pain, which is undoubtedly due to the synergistic actions of its six active ingredients. However, there are also many reports of side effects due to the high dose of glucosamine HCL.
Yes, quite a few verified reviewers have reported digestive issues, including nausea, gas, bloating stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation. These adverse effects might be due to the high dose of glucosamine HCL.
Osteo Bi-Flex is considered to be safe for the kidneys of people who do not have a pre-existing kidney condition. Ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin are processed in the kidneys and excreted through the kidneys. The high dose of glucosamine might stress the kidneys of people with an existing kidney issue.
There is no best time of day to take Osteo Bi-Flex. However, many people find that taking it with breakfast in the morning is the best time for the supplement.
Osteo Bi-Flex is a product that I really wanted to endorse, having seen evidence that it can relieve sufferers of arthritis and other joint conditions. However, the unusually high dose of glucosamine HCL provides an insurmountable barrier to such an endorsement.
Given the potential side effects, it's just too high for us to be able to recommend. As a result, we recommend taking a look at FlexAgain, which has a more complete ingredient profile and safer dosing levels for healthy joints.
Rondanelli M, Faliva MA, Peroni G, et al. Essentiality of Manganese for Bone Health: An Overview and Update. Natural Product Communications. 2021;16(5). doi:10.1177/1934578X211016649
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Glucosamine and chondroitin for osteoarthritis. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/glucosamine-and-chondroitin-for-osteoarthritis
Yu, G., Xiang, W., Zhang, T.et al. Effectiveness of Boswellia and Boswellia extract for osteoarthritis patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complement Med Ther 20, 225 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-020-02985-6
Kim LS, Axelrod LJ, Howard P, Buratovich N, Waters RF. Efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in osteoarthritis pain of the knee: a pilot clinical trial. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2006 Mar;14(3):286-94. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2005.10.003. Epub 2005 Nov 23. PMID: 16309928.
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