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CLAIM: Instaflex ($70 a month) is "a revolutionary joint health formula that can help you ... live a comfortable, healthy lifestyle."

WHAT'S IN IT: Eight ingredients commonly found in arthritis supplements, including glucosamine sulfate, MSM, white willow bark extract, ginger, cayenne pepper, and hyaluronic acid.

THE FACTS: Instaflex has never been tested on people with arthritis. Its main ingredient has, though ... and it flunked. In a meta-analysis that pooled the results of four studies, the 428 people who took at least 1,500 mg a day of glucosamine sulfate (Instaflex has 1,250 mg) experienced no more relief from their arthritis pain than the 432 people who took a (look-alike but inactive) placebo. (1)

And Instaflex's other ingredients don't make the supplement worth taking. In a small industry-funded study, people who took 12 times more MSM than Instaflex contains reported slightly less pain in their arthritic knees than placebo takers. (2) The largest, longest study of willow bark found that it was no better than a placebo) And ginger didn't help with arthritis pain in two of three studies (it barely worked in the third). (4)

BOTTOM LINE: There is little or no evidence that the ingredients in Instaflex help relieve arthritis pain.

(1) BMJ 341: c4675, 2010.

(2) Osteo. Cart. 14: 286, 2006.

(3) J. Rheumatol. 31:2121, 2004.

(4) Osteo. Cart. 11: 783, 2003.

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Title Annotation:dietary supplement, Instaflex
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2011
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