Written by 11:55 am OTC Medications

Joint Comfort Supplement Studies

I am a spokesperson for the Osteo Bi-Flex brand and have received compensation as part of the partnership, however, I assure that the content is factual and all opinions are my own.


Approximately 1 in 5 Americans has joint comfort concerns according to the CDC. Needless to say, this is something we have to address. As health care professionals, our primary concerns when we make a recommendation are about safety and efficacy. Are all recommendations going to be safe for the patient to use (remember the old adage “first, do no harm!”) and is there evidence to suggest that it will be effective for some patients?

We acknowledge that there are challenges when it comes to examining studies for supplements. Not all studies are equally good. Not all evaluate the same type of patient. Study designs can differ and outcomes are not always the same. Thus, pharmacists (and all health care providers for that matter) are responsible to make a professional judgment when it comes to making recommendations for supplements. This judgment will usually be based both on the available studies, and on our personal experience in recommending these products to patients.


This brings us to the subject of supplements for joint comfort.

In this article, I want to briefly review several ingredients commonly found in joint health supplements said to support joint comfort and help patients maintain an active lifestyle.* It’s important to note that each of the below ingredients found in joint health supplements are vital for patients, as each serve different functions in our joint health and fill various nutritional gaps in our diet.


Glucosamine/Chondroitin: These are substances found in the fluid around our joints. Glucosamine, chemically an amino sugar, appears to help maintain and promote healthy cartilage.* . As there are no food sources containing glucosamine, we must rely on supplements containing this ingredient, especially since our glucosamine levels decline as we age which makes it important to ensure we are getting adequate intake. Chondroitin, a key component in cartilage, is a naturally occurring nutrient found in the connective tissue. It is considered a complex carbohydrate, which seems to function by helping cartilage to retain water.*  Chondroitin, with its sidekick glucosamine, are two of the most popular ingredients known for their ability to support joint health.* Overall, both of these ingredients are crucial to joint health as they work in sync to maintain the structural framework to maintain comfortable movement.*

MSM: Short for methylsulfonylmethane, MSM is an organic sulfur compound found naturally in small amounts in some fruits and vegetables. As a dietary supplement, it is popular for supporting joint health.* The sulfur content in MSM can rectify dietary deficiencies of sulfur, supporting antioxidant capacity and healthy joint cartilage.* MSM is one of the top ingredients found in popular joint products because it is important for joint health and supports mobility.*

Boswellia serrata: One of the most interesting ingredients. Boswellia is a large, branching tree found in India and the Middle East, and studies done on an extract from the gum-resin of this tree have been impressive. This herbal preparation contains boswellic acids, specifically AKBA, and has been traditionally used for centuries to help with occasional joint flare-ups.* Commercially available formulations containing boswellia serrata include products such as 5-Loxin® and Aflapin™.


I’ve been a pharmacist for 25 years. During that time I have talked with lots of patients who really want to stay active and avoid the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. As I am on the front lines everyday talking with patients about their medical concerns, I only want to recommend brands that I believe in and that I’ve seen work for patients. Osteo Bi-Flex has been helping consumers stay active by facilitating joint comfort for the last 20 years. For patients with joint health concerns, I have frequently recommended Osteo Bi-Flex products to help them manage occasional joint flare ups, and support joint comfort and overall joint health.* I’m very pleased with the way Osteo Bi-Flex has evolved their product line over the years. Today, for example, patients using any of their current products with the proprietary Joint Shield™ 5-Loxin® Advanced formulation, which utilizes a highly concentrated form of the active ingredient AKBA from the herb Boswellia serrata[1], have noticed the difference. Consuming Boswellia serrata extracts in supplements is vital to daily health, as this provides many benefits to overall joint health.*


As pharmacists, we wish every study gave us perfect information upon which to base our opinion and recommendations. But in reality, we have to look at many factors and consider the results of numerous studies, as well as considering the patient themselves. We also have to consider personal experience, the physicians we have interacted with and the patients we have met. Some patients, in my opinion, might benefit from the ingredients found in Osteo Bi-Flex*.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Individual results may vary.

[1] Safayhi H, Mack T, Sabieraj J, Anazodo MI, Subramanian LR, Ammon HP. Boswellic acids: novel, specific, nonredox inhibitors of 5-lipoxygenase. J Pharmocol Exp Ther 1992,261(3):1143-6.

Last modified: October 10, 2017