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Instaflex Review: Will it Actually Reduce Pain?

Instaflex Review: Will it Actually Reduce Pain?


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Instaflex is a joint pain supplement brand that claims it manufactures products so powerful they can deliver relief in just one week. With 1 in 5 American adults experiencing chronic pain, based on medical research, the demand for this type of supplement is increasing.

In this article we’ll analyze the ingredients in some of Instaflex’s most popular products based on published medical studies to determine if we believe them to be safe and effective for relieving joint pain.

Instaflex Advanced Review

Instaflex Advanced is the brand’s most popular supplement, and the one typically advertised. It contains a blend of ingredients that we’ve seen commonly included in joint pain supplements like Relief Factor, which we recently reviewed.

Turmeric extract is the first ingredient in Instaflex Advanced, at a dose of 200 milligrams (mg). While turmeric is an effective ingredient for pain, because of its anti-inflammatory effect, 1,000 mg appears to be the minimally-effective dose based on medical research. That’s 5x the amount in Instaflex.

Resveratrol is the second ingredient at a dose of 100 mg. This may be an effective dose. A clinical trial on resveratrol for pain mangaement in menopausal women used a dose of 75 mg and noted reductions in chronic pain and improvements in well-being.

However, we can’t find any studies proving that resveratrol is effective for joint pain or arthritis at a dose of 75 mg or below. Most of the studies that we can locate on resveratrol and arthritis (like this one), use much higher doses (500 mg in this case).

Boswellia Serrata Extract is the third-listed ingredient, and appears effectively dosed at 100 mg. A medical review of this botanical compound, published in the well-respected BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies journal, found that boswellia extract was effective for reducing pain in osteoarthritis patients in doses ranging from 100-250 mg/day.

The 100 mg in Instaflex is on the lower end of the effective dose spectrum, but it still should be effective.

The fourth ingredient in this supplement is UC-II, a patented collagen product made with chicken sternum. It appears effective at much lower doses than regular collagen.

The UC-II dose in Instaflex is 40 mg, which is the exact same dose used in a medical study on UC-II for joint support in arthritis patients. The group supplementing with UC-II experienced reductions in pain, stiffness and experienced improved overall physical function. Thus we will conclude that this ingredient is effectively dosed.

Hyaluronic acid is the next-listed ingredient, and appears to be underdosed. There’s only 5 mg of hyaluronic acid in Instaflex, but the minimum dose of oral hyaluronic acid from a medical review of hyaluronic acid and knee pain was 80 mg. We’ll conclude that this dose is likely to be ineffective.

The final active ingredient in Instaflex Advanced is bioperine, which is a standardized extract of black pepper which makes turmeric more absorbable by the body. This is an effective and logical inclusion for a joint health supplement.

Instaflex Advanced also contains two inactive ingredients we recommend avoiding.

Titanium dioxide is a bleaching agent that’s banned in the European Union (E.U.) over genotoxicity concerns.

FD&C Blue #1 is an artificial food dye that was highlighted in a medical review of health hazards of popular food dyes.

Instaflex Advanced is relatively well-formulated, with several effective active ingredients that are appropriately dosed. We can’t recommend this product due to the inactive ingredients.

Instaflex Cream Review

Instaflex sells a Pain Relief Cream for topical treatment of arthritic aches and pains.

The only active ingredient is menthol, which is a common topical pain relief ingredient and has been shown in multiple studies to be effective for reducing pain.

It makes no sense to pay $24.99 for a 2-ounce tube of menthol cream when there are many brands selling menthol cream for a fraction of the price. Dr. Bronner’s, which is priced as a luxury brand, sells a menthol cream at the same size for half the price on Amazon.

Instaflex Pain Relief cream also contains a stabilizing compound called polyacrylamide which is a “demonstrated neurotoxin in humans” based on medical research.

Another inactive ingredient we recommend avoiding is phenoxyethanol, which is a preservative.

The Dr. Bronner’s menthol cream contains no questionable additive ingredients.

Instaflex also sells an Extra Strength Pain Relief Cream with a higher (2.5% vs. 1%) menthol concentration, and one additional active ingredient: methyl salicylate

A clinical trial on methyl salicylate at a concentration of 10% (the same concentration as used in Instaflex Extra Strength Pain Relief) caused “significant relief of pain” in patients with muscle strain.

Because of the additional effective ingredient, we believe Instaflex Extra Strength cream is more likely to be effective and would be a better choice for patients with severe pain than Instaflex Pain Relief cream, but we don’t recommend either because both contain polyacrylamide and phenoxyethanol.

Instaflex Side Effects

Based on the ingredients included, we don’t believe Instaflex poses a significant risk to cause side effects. Of course any supplement or medication can cause a reaction in any patient, but for the most part the active ingredients used in Instaflex are safe and effective.

The only inactive ingredient which may cause a minor side effect is the artificial blue dye, which poses a small risk to cause hypersensitivity reactions based on the study linked where we first referenced it.

Instaflex Price

Surprisingly, Instaflex is more expensive on their own website (at the time of writing) than on third-party retailers like Walmart and Amazon.

Instaflex Advanced is currently retailing for $69.99 per bottle on their website, plus $4.99 shipping fee.

The Walmart price is $65.95, and the Amazon price is $103.20 for 2 bottles, or only $51.60 per bottle.

Customer Reviews

Instaflex has reviews better than most joint health supplements we’ve seen on Amazon. Their Instaflex Advanced supplement has a 4.5/5 star rating and 1,139 total 5 star reviews.

The reviews received a B score on FakeSpot, an algorithm which detects fake Amazon reviews, suggesting that the vast majority of the reviews are legitimate.

Most of the positive reviews discuss the pain relief benefits. A user named “Michbruno” who was verified by Amazon as a real purchaser of the product stated the following:

“An absolute miracle in a bottle! When I first took it. The next morning I stood and walked. Still in pain. But not excruciating as usual. I thought...no way. The second day I could actually get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Something I normally tried not to do because getting up out of bed was just too painful.”

Most of the negative reviews and complaints on Instaflex’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) page have nothing to do with the quality of the product, but instead reference bills received after the trial period ended.

People who sign up for the free sample should be aware that the company will bill you after the trial period expires, and start you on a subscription plan, so it’s important to read the Terms and Conditions of the sample agreement if you choose to receive a free sample. In our opinion it’s not worth it.

Instaflex Pros and Cons

Here’s a quick synopsis of the benefits and drawbacks of Instaflex:

Pros:

  • Mostly effective ingredients
  • Mostly effective dosages
  • Good customer reviews
  • Free sample available on website

Cons:

  • Questionable filler ingredients
  • Creams are overpriced
  • No clinical research backing

Better Alternative

Black seed oil has potent analgesic (pain-relieving) properties proven in medical data. The oil is processed by pressing fresh seeds from a plant called Nigella sativa which is native to Southwestern Asia, and is a staple in many Arab cuisines.

A clinical trial on black seed oil applied topically to old patients with arthritis of the knee found that it significantly decreased their pain severity. Reported pain scores on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) dropped from 7.5 to 6.3 after 30 days, which represents a 16% decrease in pain from topical treatment alone.

A separate study proved that black seed oil is also effective for pain management when taken orally as a supplement. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis took capsules of 500 mg black seed oil twice daily, and experienced a 9% reduction in disease activity score after only 30 days.

The results from these studies suggest that a combination approach of topical and oral intake of black seed oil may cause further pain relief than either option alone.

We recommend a black seed oil brand called Amazing Herbs, because their products are standardized for thymoquinone, which is the active chemical compound in black seed oil. This ensures the potency of every batch of product.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Instaflex is a decently-formulated joint health supplement that is likely to be effective based on a medical research review. It won’t treat arthritis, but it can reduce the pain associated. We don’t recommend the supplement because it contains two inactive ingredients which we believe may be a risk to human health.

We recommend black seed oil as a single-ingredient, whole food natural alternative for arthritis pain management, and we recommend Dr. Bronner’s brand topical menthol cream over Instaflex menthol cream.





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