What Is Osteo Bi-Flex?

There are different types of Osteo Bi-Flex though all contain glucosamine and chondroitin.
There are different types of Osteo Bi-Flex though all contain glucosamine and chondroitin. | Source

What is Osteo Bi-Flex?

Osteo Bi-Flex is a nutritional supplement that contains glucosamine and chondroitin--two common dietary adjuncts that are used to help prevent and treat osteoarthritis.

Many people claim to have experienced marked relief in joint problems that affect their shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and other weight bearing joints by adding chondroitin and glucosamine to their daily regimen.

What are the Different Types of Osteo Bi-Flex?

The different labels of Osteo Bi-Flex can be confusing to the average consumer. However, if one takes a closer look at the recommended dosing for OBF, the labeling and differences become a little clearer.

The usual recommended dosage for Osteo Bi-Flex is 6 caplets per day containing 1500 mg of glucosamine and 1200 mg of chondroitin. The supplement can be taken all 6 caplets at once or spaced out throughout the day. Either way works the same so one is not more effective than the other.

Regular Strength Osteo Bi-Flex formula is the above mentioned formula given 6 caplets per day, taken once a day or spaced out through the day.

Double Strength Osteo Bi-Flex is exactly what it sounds like--double the strength of regular Osteo Bi-Flex so you would only need to take 3 caplets per day. Again, you take them all at once or space them out over the day (with meals for example).

Triple Strength OBF is 3 times the strength of Regular Strength OBF and this formula allows you to take 2 caplets per day or spread them out by taking once in the morning and once at night for example.

There is also a formula called Osteo Bi-Flex Plus MSM which combines glucosamine and chondroitin with MSM, another popular joint mobility supplement. In this product, you get 1500 mg of chondroitin with 1200 mg of glucosamine plus 1000 mg of MSM. You take this particular OBF 4 caplets per day in 1 dose or spread out over a couple times per day.

Osteo Bi-Flex Advanced formula is a combination of Osteo Bi-Flex with viamin C added as well as manganese and something called "Joint Shield." Joint Shield's main ingredient is called 5-Loxin which is made from extract of Boswellia serrata and about 10 times stronger than most products of the same name. Osteo Bi-Flex is the only company currently using 5-Loxin in their supplements and it's said that this powerful additive fights enzymes that actively destroy healthy joints. The FDA does not support these claims but OBF, like all nutritional supplements and herbal preparations, are not monitored or regulated by this organization.

There are several other types of Osteo Bi-Flex--for more information see the table below. The bottom line is that all are the combo of chondroitin and glucosamine but many of the different types have additional vitamins or other joint nutritional supplements in them.

It should be mentioned that this author noticed that there is a statement on all the ingredients labels saying that shellfish is part of the ingredients. Should someone have a shellfish allergy, this could be a definite thing to watch out for.

Some of the Most Popular Osteo Bi-Flex Products

Regular Strength
6 per day
Double Strength
3 per day
5-Loxin and fish oil variety and also comes with manganese and vitamin C in some varieties
Triple Strength
2 per day
Contains collagen, boron & other nutrients as well as hyaluronic acid and MSM; some varieties contain vitamin D
OBF with MSM
4 per day
Joint Shield plus MSM, boron, vitamin C and maganese
2 per day
Vitamin C, manganese, Joint Shield and boron
One Per Day
1 per day
Vitamin D3
Osteo Bi-Flex Energy
2 per day
Vitamin C, D, B vitamins, Joint Shield and manganese
All products do promise that you will see results within 7 days.

Does Osteo Bi-Flex Really Work?

OBF is the most popular joint supplement on the market, though some people swear by the generic versions as being just as helpful in joint mobility.

Most physicians, however, prescribe Osteo Bi-Flex over generic versions of the joint formula probably because it is more readily available and presented everywhere in pharmacies and supermarkets.

It's also available on line without a prescription because it's classified as a nutritional supplement, not a medication.

Doctors who believe in nutritional supplements as well as homeopathic physicians and providers believe that Osteo Bi-Flex together with other factors can and will improve joint health by rejuvenating cartilage.

Because some of the varieties have vitamins such as vitamin D, the claim can be made that the supplement should help strengthen bones and aid the immune system.

The energy formula in particular has lots of vitamin B's in it--hence the "energy" formula.

There are also joint drinking mixes available such as Osteo Bi-Flex NutraJoint Joint & Immune Formula Drink Mix which contains gelatin--which is said to help cushion joints.

The Osteo Bi-Flex NutraJoint Drink Mix plain has copper, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin K--all of which are said to promote strong and healthy bones.

For anyone suffering from painful joints, it's usually worth the trial of a few months to see if the supplement really helps or changes symptoms. Many people claim that they have had remarkable results from this dietary supplement while other people's symptoms stayed the same. However, as in many things, you won't know until you try it!

Many factors affect normal, healthy joint cartilage--some lifestyle modifications can help this as well as Osteo Bi-Flex.
Many factors affect normal, healthy joint cartilage--some lifestyle modifications can help this as well as Osteo Bi-Flex. | Source

Other Factors That Affect Joint Health

As with any disease process or condition, there are certain factors that can help promote healthy outcomes.

For any ailments affecting the bones or joints, the following are recommended measures that should be taken whether on a joint supplement, any other type of medication for arthritis, or no medication or supplements at all.

  • Lead a healthy lifestyle--minimize risk factors like smoking and drinking--they do affect joint health
  • Exercise--moderate exercise of at least 30 minutes per day (even if broken into 10 minute increments)--preferably weight bearing type which promotes good joint health and increases flexibility
  • Diet--a diet rich in vegetables, good sources of protein, fruit and fiber will also help arthritis sufferers
  • Weight control--being overweight is the #1 cause of joint problems in people without a medical condition such as arthritis. Losing weight can help ease joint pain and even lessen the pain from arthritis
  • Medications--some medications are known to cause joint or muscle pain--check with your doctor if you experience these symptoms and/or do a check of the medication side effects for more information

Who Should Not Take Osteo Bi-Flex?

Even though OBF is classified as a nutritional supplement, many studies show that combining certain medications with herbal and/or dietary supplements can be hazardous to your health.

Osteo Bi-Flex can or may increase blood sugar levels so if you're taking insulin, you should check with your doctor before starting to take this over-the-counter supplement. You should also monitor your blood glucoses more often and stop taking it if they are significantly elevated.

Chitosan is a dieting aid and should not be taken in conjunction with Osteo Bi-Flex. In this case, it is not so much a problem with interaction but rather a reduction in the efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin absorption.

Nursing mothers or pregnant women should not take Osteo Bi-Flex without consulting with a physician as there are no studies available so far regarding the effect of this formula on the unborn child or whether it is transmitted in breast milk.

People who have bleeding disorders of any kind should also not take Osteo Bi-Flex due to the potential for bleeding. Also people who have clotting disorders or are on blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) should not take this supplement.

If you are on a low-sodium diet, you should also not take this nutritional adjunct as it can cause interaction and abnormal lowering of sodium levels.

If you have a shellfish allergy, you might want to check with the pharmacist or your physician before taking this supplement as every one of Osteo Bi-Flex's labels claims that they have shellfish ingredients.

Are There Side Effects to Osteo Bi-Flex?

Even though it is not a medication, there can always be side effects to anything we ingest.

  • Allergic reactions such as lip swelling, difficulty breathing or hives--these are serious reactions called angioedema and should be treated in an ER immediately
  • Shellfish allergy may indicate a potential allergy to this supplement
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Toxic metals or other drug cross contaminations have been found in some supplements on the market. Herbal and/or dietary supplements should always be purchased from a reliable source to reduce the possibility of an inferior product


  • If you miss a dose and you're close to the next dose--skip the missed dose and resume per schedule.
  • If an overdose occurs, seek emergency medical attention or call Poison Control--even though this is an herbal supplement, medical attention is most likely warranted. Call to be sure and report the ingested amount.
  • With any medication or nutritional supplement, you should consult with your health care provider before adding anything to your health regimen--even when it is billed as a nutritional supplement due to interactions, reactions, etc.
  • Store this nutritional supplement in a cool, dark cabinet and out of the reach of children.

Comments 28 comments

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Ah yes--oh today's list...get Osteo Bi-Flex and get ready to let'r'rip on the scooter and the sled~ Fingers crossed no mishaps.

Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 4 years ago

Not that I'm not used to looking silly... but no sense giving people extra ammunition for free! The sled sounds fun. Shouldn't be much longer before the cold weather kicks in. Maybe you won't have to wait too long.

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Well but you would just look "silly" trying to harness up your 3 little dogs and run them on a scooter!~ I even have a sled---now if it would snow more than a couple of flakes--wooohoo~~~

Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 4 years ago

I've got to hand it to you both... you're far more adventurous than I am!

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

No kidding on the helmet--I made the fatal mistake of running two of them together on pavement--not my brightest move and it really hurts when you hit the ground face first going 25 mph. He rides on dirt---and he CLAIMS he doesn't need a helmet--all it takes is once~~~The dent is still there where I clanked my melon~

Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 4 years ago

Some day they'll come out with the movie. But I'm sure it will fall far short from the reality. Whichever way the scooters work out, I'm glad you're wearing a helmet. Bob might consider wearing one too... right before he makes comments like that!

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Oh yes---we be nuts~ I did a podcast and 2 hubs on how I trained my mals to pull me on roller blades--it was QUITE the adventure for me! Then I graduated to having them pull me on a mountain scooter which is basically a skateboard with brakes--which I proceeded to fall off--that's somewhere on my hub too. Got a concussion out of that experience and whiplash~

This time though--we're being "cautious"--we have 2 separate scooters and are each taking a dog...we'll see how this pans out soon! Or I may literally crash and burn--I'm still thinking I may insist that I get the big fat dog~ At least I know he'll PROBABLY get tired before Gabby does or at least I can frighten him into obeying when I start screaming!

And yes---our neighbors get quite a few laughs~ I gotta love how they yell out to me when I'm training them though---we just walk and go through the commands for weeks---hey--did you know you're supposed to RIDE the scooter? For REAL?

And we can all see why I need Osteo Bi-Flex right---and a helmet? P.S. I ALWAYS wear a helmet--that's what saved my brain--Bob thinks I should wear one indoors too which I don't think is very funny~

Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 4 years ago

Gabby pulling a scooter... you mean something with 2 wheels? Yikes. Possibly she'd be better with a more stable vehicle. Like a stagecoach. Or at least a golf cart.

Oh well, like you pointed out, at least you've got something to write about!

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

I suppose it could be that she is trying to be alpha--but in her case she is so docile and appears to be a 'player' with her other 4-legged friends so I never really think of that way. Anything's possible though~

She's been like this since she was tiny--the pulling--she almost pulled my sister down on the ground last year! She's only 1-1/2 and strong as an ox though she's 20 pounds lighter than Griff. I figure she is going to be a natural with the scooter--I'm still debating--do I want to be the one on the scooter speeding at warp speed or should I go with Griffin who I know will tire easily and not run like the wind due to his size?

The other problem is that once you put the harnesses on and teach them to pull...for some reason when you put the LEASH back on--little confusion curve there---or "oh duh" factor--but can't wait to try Gabs out on the scooter--I only hope I live to write the hub about it! I plan on also wearing my hat cam --if nothing else, America's Funniest Videos here we come! How many languages is that woman swearing in??? Did you SEE how far she got dragged down the road...ouch!

Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 4 years ago

It's just amazing how headstrong Gabby is. It must be a day-to-day struggle with her to be the pack leader. I'm glad all mine are tiny!

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Now that's hilarious~ definitely mal-bow...I even tried a Gentle Leader on Gabby--you might notice that Bob is not the dog trainer...there is a reason for this--I haven't quite discovered it yet, however! At any rate, I thought it would help -- not only my arms and hands but my back---she is jumping around like a pony with a halter on. It is "better" but we are still not quite there! I did finally say to him the other day--you take her! I trotted off with my 95 pound butterball Griff and left him to prance with "our little pony." You would think too that she'd quit fighting it---she comes home after an hour with MARKS on her nose from it pinching her but she doesn't seem to care~ I may need this stuff though even more since we hope to crank up the scooters as soon as our heat wave stops....that or splints and crutches! I keep saying though--why is it everything I do with my life involves my hands and arms? I need an extra set!

Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 4 years ago

Yep- if it's good enough for the dogs, it's good enough for us. Bob should give it a try- after a couple of months, if it hasn't helped, at least he won't be any worse off! (Sounds like you're suffering from Mal-bow- damage to the arm and elbow joints from huge dogs yanking your chain.)

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Great testimonial Crewman--I'm gonna have to have Bob try this actually--he was having severe knee pain and couldn't walk hardly any distance--it turned out with him he had huge varicose veins behind his knee so with that, he's able to walk again though he still has knee pain. He's got the classic bone-on-bone changes--so I was thinking this might definitely help....hey--what's good enough for our 3 pups MUST be good for him too, eh? With me it's my dang elbows and hands and wrists--I have no CLUE why~

Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 4 years ago

Another great hub, on a subject of direct interest for me. I had injured my knee a few years ago, and the aftermath left me with a long-term distance limit to my bicycling. Started taking a generic glucosamine/chondroitin supplement. On the first day, I did two miles before the ground-glass-in-the-knee feeling, which was normal at that time. By day 60, there were no limits. Trips of 30 miles still didn't trigger any pain.

For me, that made me a believer. Never tried the Osteo-Biflex brand because of the cost, but the Joint-Shield might make it worth the extra.

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Hi Wayne~ I think both ways actually---people with joint problems already say that it helps tremendously (except as someone pointed out it's not helpful with rheumatoid arthritis)...and some people who are just starting to have problems swear by it.

I agree though---anything you have to take in such great quantities is a little daunting--I noticed the prices at Rite-Aid and they were NOT cheap---of course this is the gal who gives her DOGS glucosamine and chondroitin~ Maybe I'll just opt for the pet formula myself!!!

Thanks for dropping by and asking such a pertinent question.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

A very interesting article. I would think this supplement would be highly appealing to the older generation as they begin to feel the effects of joint deterioration. At the same time, looking at the dosage rate, I have to assume that it can be a rather expensive proposition on a monthly basis. Is this something better used as a defense against the development of joint conditions or is it effective in treating existing conditions? Thanks much for sharing? ~WB

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks, Virginia---I'm thinking about doing that myself~ My elbows have been killing me lately---gosh I wonder why~~~

VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne 4 years ago from United States

You really do a great job of explaining this product and variations. Although I do have joint problems, I haven't tried this yet. I think your idea of trying for a few months to see if it helps is a useful idea.

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks Pamela and yes, everything we can take that helps--it's worth it I think!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

This is a good review of this product. I actually take these medications and vitamins, but I have purchased them from Puritan Vitamins for years. Since I have major joint problems I do think they help but it is difficult to know to what degree since I already have so much damage. I like to think they at least slow things up.

I like the way you spelled out each ingredient so a person would know exactly what they are taking. This is really a very well organized hub.

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks, Helen--I'm kinda looking at it as well~

Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

An excellent review article Audrey on this product. It's not that often that you get a review that covers all aspects of a product, including side effects. But your article has everything a person needs to make an informed and safe choice about buying Osteo Bi-Flex. I might even try some myself for my own creaking joints!! But besides the review I found this really interesting about how joints could be helped by this product! Voted up + Shared!

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks resspenser--I'm thinking of getting this for Bob as well for his knees although my only worry is the warning about raising blood sugar. His was up but we have it under great control now--want to keep it that way~

resspenser profile image

resspenser 4 years ago from South Carolina

I use the triple strength and have found it useful for knee pain. Good informative hub!

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Oh gosh, Joyce--that would definitely be why--and good that you got off it when you had high sugar~ Thanks for stopping by!

writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

I tried this a few years ago when I noticed my fingers beginning to turn. My dentist at that time suggested it because she said she would never be without it. I never felt any benefit . When we moved here a new dr. said my sugar was too high and took me off. Now I know I have R/A and that's why it didn't work for me.

Voted up useful and interesting, Joyce.

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks Carol and I agree---I surely could not believe how many different types there were/are~~~ I guess it all depends what you think will help you the most.

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

A really good review. I think these products help for some people and not for others. But if one get get a little relief from pain to avoid surgery then good. Voted UP.

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