What Is Osteo Bi-Flex?
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
OSTEO BI-FLEX FORMULA
6 per day
3 per day
5-Loxin and fish oil variety and also comes with manganese and vitamin C in some varieties
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
Osteo Bi-Flex Energy
2 per day
Vitamin C, D, B vitamins, Joint Shield and manganese
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!
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
- 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.