Our Top Pick for 2018: Flex Pro MD
Read our full review.
When jumping, bending over, or reaching up to the top shelf is getting hard to do, people may want to turn to a joint supplement for their sore joints. For years, one of the most popular joint supplements has been the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin in one pill. These two ingredients used in the body may be helpful in reducing joint inflammation, pain, and reducing damage to cartilage. Finding the right supplement to take out of the dozens on the market can be frustrating. Save some time and stress by starting with a narrow field of the best joint supplements on the market.
Let’s Have a Quick Look of Our Top 4 Picks:
|Flex Pro MD: Joint Pain Relief Supplement - Patented and Clinically Tested Formulation - 60 Capsules||98 Reviews||$26.77||Buy on Amazon|
|Doctor's Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM with OptiMSM, Joint Support, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Soy...||1,618 Reviews||$22.98||Buy on Amazon|
|NOW Glucosamine 1.1g, Chondroitin 1.2g, with MSM 300mg, 180 Capsules||518 Reviews||$21.33||Buy on Amazon|
|Move Free Advanced Plus MSM, 120 tablets - Joint Health Supplement with Glucosamine and Chondroitin||1,176 Reviews||$15.76||Buy on Amazon|
#1. Flex Pro MD
The winner and our selection for the best supplement for your joints is a product called Flex Pro MD. This product combines the power of Zanthin Astaxanthin, Flexuron, and Antarctic krill oil in a proprietary blend to reduce the inflammation in your joints and encourage healing. Each of these three products are organic, high-quality ingredients combined in this formula for joint and cartilage health. Zanthin Astaxanthin comes the algae plant, Haematococcus pluvialis, which grows naturally in the ocean and is farmed for use in supplements, food, and other products. This algae extract is thought to be beneficial for the skin, joints, and the brain. It is a strong antioxidant that can eliminate the free radicals in your system which may be contributing to joint pain. Flexuron is a water soluble form of Sodium Hyaluronate. This substance is found naturally in the fluid within the joint and surrounds the cartilage. Finally, an Antarctic krill oil used in Flex Pro MD contains large amounts of Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. The Omega fatty acids have long been thought to help reduce inflammation within the body along with a number of other helpful tasks. One of the biggest causes of pain in the body is actually inflammation of the tissue which can press on nerves and cause irritation in the surrounding tissues. By helping to keep inflammation down the omega fatty acids may help to reduce pain, as well as preventing further damage to the joint. Omega 3s also improve the absorption of the algae extract, Zanthin Astaxanthin, into skin tissues.
Flex Pro MD is marketed under the Be Whole line of Integral Formulations. This product has undergone testing through a double blind placebo clinical trial. Participants were given one of three potential supplements to take daily. These supplements included, a sugar pill, a conventional glucosamine and chondroitin supplement, and Flex Pro MD. The trial used both a computer-based self-assessment and a clinical assessment of patients by nursing staff before and during the trial. Within 14 days of taking just one Flex Pro MD pill daily patients reported a significant reduction in joint discomfort. After 56 days on the supplement about two-thirds of patients given the Flex Pro MD supplement reported that they were 100% pain free. According to Integral Formulations, this was three times as much improvement in the results of patients taking the glucosamine and chondroitin supplement for their joint pain and discomfort.
The instructions for this particular supplement recommend taking 2 pills daily for the first 2 weeks and then just one pill daily afterwards. The first bottle of Flex Pro MD containing 60 capsules should last about one and a half months and every bottle after that should last about 2 months. Integral Formulations reports that these pills are GMO, chemical, filler, and soy free. They are also made in the United States of America.
On the downside, there is a warning on the bottle that it should not be used by pregnant or nursing mothers, or those who have a shellfish allergy. Small amounts of shellfish are ingredients in this product.
People who have taken Flex Pro MD Have reported that they have fewer aches and pains over all and less joint discomfort. This product seems to be recommended most by those who suffer with knee, shoulder, hip, or hand joint pain. Many consumers reported that they started feeling modest improvement within the first 14 days of taking the supplement. Some consumers mentioned that it seemed as if some of their joint pain returned when they dropped back down to one capsule daily. Not everyone has reported this, and the results experienced by consumers taking Flex Pro may vary on a person-to-person basis.
#2. Doctor’s Best Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM
The second best pick is Doctor’s Best Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM. As the name suggests this Doctor’s Best product contains three supplements combined to help heal the joints. These ingredients, particularly Glucosamine and Chondroitin, are meant to encourage the creation of proteoglycans, which are protein chains that make up part of the structure of cartilage and other tissues in the body. Proteoglycans help give joints a flexible, compressive quality that allows them to act as shock absorbers when people walk, run, or pick up something, or move around. The addition of methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, in this supplement may help with the formation of collagen, which helps support the structure of the joint. Most people have heard of this connective tissue found throughout the body, which keeps the skin from sagging and allows it to return easily to its original shape when pulled on. With added MSM in the diet, the body will have the materials it needs to create much needed collagen around those joints.
Doctor’s Best contains 750 mg. of Glucosamine Sulfate, 600 mg. of chondroitin sulfate, and 500 mg. of MSM per 2 capsules. The MSM in the product is in the form of OptiMSM, a pure form of methylsulfonylmethane made from dimethylsufloxide. All of the MSM made available on the commercial market is manufactured in a lab, so this is not unexpected. The bottle instructions recommend taking 2 capsules of this supplement, twice daily. So, consumers would be taking 4 capsules on a daily basis. That may be a drawback for some who don’t wish to take that many pills or who have trouble swallowing pills. However, the product is a powder in capsule form. It’s possible to pull the capsules apart and just pour the powder into a spoon or mix it into some water for easier swallowing. This is not a suggested way of taking the Doctor’s Best supplement. It is just a method that some people have adopted to make it easier to take the capsules. People can find product in a 120, 240, or 360 capsule size. Those who purchase the 120 size and take the recommended amount daily will find that a single bottle lasts about 3 months.
Those who have taken the product report seeing modest relief of joint pain and discomfort within a few weeks to months. While not a miracle pill, people have noticed that they can work out for longer, have less aches and pains at the end of the day, and have less need for ointments and hot pads. Consumers take Doctor’s Best for a wide variety of joints, including the knees, hips, feet, and on the back. On the downside, this supplement does contain about 28 mg. of sodium per 2 capsules. Those on a sodium restricted diet may have to make adjustments to their sodium intake when also taking these capsules. Doctor’s Best contains shellfish in the form of crab, shrimp, lobster, or crayfish shells too. Those who are allergic to shellfish should avoid it. Doctor’s Best Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM is gluten free, non-GMO, and Soy free.
#3. NOW Foods GlucosamineChondroitin with MSM
Another option for discerning consumers is NOW Foods GlucosamineChondroitin with MSM. Like the above, this product contains three ingredients commonly taken by consumers to help fight off joint problems. However, the NOW Foods product lists these ingredients in differing quantities of 1,100 mg. glucosamine sulfate, 1,200 mg. chondroitin sodium sulfate, and 300 mg. of MSM. The larger amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin are a nice draw for those who feel these ingredients are what benefits them the most. However, the ingredients are listed by serving which is three capsules. Divided by three, that is 366 mg. glucosamine sulfate, 400 mg. of chondroitin, and 100 mg. of MSM per capsule.
NOW Foods recommends taking just 3 of these capsules daily, which is also easier for those who dislike having to take a lot of pills. This product is available in a 90 capsule or a 180 capsule size. At the recommended daily dosage, consumers will find that a 90 capsule bottle lasts about one month.
Consumers can expect this product to contain high quality ingredients. For instance, the method that NOW Foods uses to determine the presence of glucosamine in raw materials and foods was approved by the Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC) as a First Action Official Method. This means that the AOAC recommends this method for determining if glucosamine is present in a product. The company also employs an energy efficient method for creating MSM via a chemical involving sulfur and methane. The chondroitin in this supplement is made from Bovine tissues, while the glucosamine may come from a combination of shrimp and crab shells, and the fermentation of corn or other grains. This is not a vegetarian product. This NOW Foods supplement is also GMO free.
Those taking the joint health supplement report that it is helpful at reducing pain. Some report taking the supplement for years because they find it works so effectively on their particular problem. Consumers stated that they didn’t need to use their cane as much or at all after taking it for a while. Weight lifters reported having fewer aches and pains after working out. People also reported having less discomfort when they first woke up in the morning. The most positive reviews came from those with knee joint complaints. However, some felt that their improvement was only modest and that the lowered dosage of ingredients per capsule may be the reason behind this lack of improvement. However, this was the opinion of consumers who took the capsules. Anyone taking a glucosamine/chondroitin product should speak with their doctor before considering increasing the dosage of pills they take daily.
Those with an allergy to shellfish should also avoid this NOW Foods product. The product also has a warning on the label for women who are nursing or pregnant to consult their doctors before taking it. Plus, it should be kept out of the reach of children. This is primarily because of the lack of evidence for the safety of this product for both groups.
#4. Move Free Joint Health Advanced Plus MSM with Glucosamine
The budget minded may want to take a look at Move Free Joint Health Advanced Plus MSM with Glucosamine. This health supplement with a long name contains five ingredients intended to promote joint health and help heal the joints. This is from a well-known brand and company, Schiff, so consumers may feel more comfortable picking up a bottle to try out for the first time. Move is the name of a line of joint supplements with this Advanced Plus containing larger dosages and two extra ingredients compared to the than the Advanced or the Triple Action version. The ingredients in Move Advanced Plus are 1,500 mg. of glucosamine hydrochloride, 1,500 mg. of MSM, 216 mg. of Uniflex, 200 mg. of Chondroitin Sulfate, and 3.3 mg. of Joint Fluid, also known as Hyaluronic Acid. This product contains the most MSM of all the items on this short list, but it contains much less Chondroitin Sulfate.
Hyaluronic Acid is made up of long-chains of disaccharides or sugars. It is found in the joints and forms a thick liquid that helps to cushion the cartilage. Some research has shown that taking HA orally can help the body and patients even report a reduction in pain and stiffness over the course of a few months. The other ingredient in Move Advanced Plus, Uniflex, is a combination of two herbs, Chinese Scullcap and Black Catechu. These ingredients may contain minerals that help to support the joint and further relieve pain.
Those who took Move Free for joint pain generally found it to be helpful in reducing pain. Some consumers noted that it started working in as little as three days. People suffering from hip and knee problems reported that their long-lasting conditions improved and they were able to get back to some of their previous activities. However, there were a large number of people who felt that the pills were too big to swallow easily. These are pills, not capsules, so the supplement inside isn’t in a convenient powdered form. Anyone who is allergic to shellfish, nursing or pregnant should also avoid taking this supplement.
Since most will be looking for a glucosamine/chondroitin product, these are the two most crucial ingredients. However, there may be other ingredients included in the supplement that also work to heal the joint, relieve pain, or improve the absorption of other ingredients. Consumers should pay close attention to the active ingredients listed in the Supplement Facts on the back of the bottle, and those in the ingredients list. These “inactive ingredients” may also cause problems for those who have an allergy to them or are restricting their diet in some way. For instance, many glucosamine/chondroitin supplements are made with shellfish, which some could be allergic to and others may not want to include in their regular diets.
The Federal Drug and Food Administration doesn’t put health supplements through the same rigorous testing as it does traditional medications. Other than meeting basic guidelines for safety and food production, companies don’t have many other requirements. This can mean that different supplements contain glucosamine and chondroitin from wildly different sources, in different purities, and amounts. Consumers don’t have to blindly trust that companies are giving them the best quality for their buck. They can do research on the product’s reputation and see if it has received any certifications/awards from well-respected third party groups regarding the manufacturing process or the quality of the ingredients in the supplement.
Cost is always a concern when shopping for health supplements. Some of the best quality products on the market are among the most expensive. It can be difficult to justify paying that much for a supplement that consumers may not be sure will work when they try it out. The hit to the budget can be reduced by comparison shopping prices among different retailers. Or looking at lower cost options that don’t contain the extras, like MSM, added herbs or Hyaluric Acid. If consumers are really keen on getting a specific product, they might be able to purchase the smallest size to try it out before committing to the larger size. Be careful of sellers who offer suspiciously low prices on these items too. Sometimes, the item is expired, not the right size, or a generic brand with similar logo and style to the name brand.
A great joint supplement is only good as long as it’s available to take. Whether or not consumers can actually buy the product is another concern. Some of the premium, boutique brands may be made in smaller quantities or only sold in certain areas. Luckily, many companies sell their products online and ship them internationally. Plus, name brand products are much more likely to be available for purchase. Consumers may even see lines of the product with different ingredients and benefits are available. For instance, Move has six versions of the same joint supplement for consumers who want something very specific.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
It’s worth investing a few bucks into a good joint supplement and seeing what works for you. Manufacturers have made these products available in convenient capsules, pill, and even other forms. While supplements may have varied dosage amounts that consumers should analyze carefully, this means that it’s possible to find a dosage and amount of these ingredients that is convenient to the individual person. Most glucosamine/chondroitin on the market is made from shellfish, so some may be restricted from taking these supplements. However, those who can take them often notice at least a modest improvement in their joint pain, stiffness, and other discomforts. It may even be possible to encourage healing with ingredients that support the growth of collagen, proteoglycans, and the creation of joint fluids.