Instaflex Review: Will it Actually Reduce Pain?

Instaflex Review: Will it Actually Reduce Pain?


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​​Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to pain relief.

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

But can a dietary supplement really provide pain relief that's substantial? Are the ingredients in Instaflex shown in research studies to relieve pain? Does the supplement contain any questionable additive ingredients? And how do real customers rate and describe the effects of Instaflex products?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we review the ingredients in Instaflex Advanced (the pill supplement) and Instaflex Cream based on clinical studies, to give our take on whether or not these two products are likely to relieve pain.

We'll feature unsponsored customer reviews, discuss the potential for side effects, and explain why Instaflex was sued in 2017. 

Instaflex Advanced Ingredient Analysis

Instaflex Advanced ingredients

Instaflex Advanced is the brand’s most popular dietary supplement.

It has six active ingredients, shown above: turmeric extract, resveratrol, Boswellia serrata extract, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and black pepper extract.

Turmeric extract is included at a dose of 200 milligrams (mg). 

We consider this an effective dose for pain relief, given that a meta-study published in the BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine journal described the therapeutic dosing range of turmeric extract for pain to be between 93 mg and 2,000 mg.

Resveratrol is another research-backed analgesic (pain-relieving) ingredient.

However, we consider the 100 mg in Instaflex to be potentially underdosed, because as we described in our Relief Factor reviews article, we cannot identify any clinical studies showing resveratrol to cause pain relief at a dose below 150 mg.

Boswellia serrata extract was shown to be effective for reducing pain in osteoarthritis patients in doses ranging from 100-250 mg/day, according to a medical review published in the BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies journal.

Instaflex provides 100 mg of Boswellia, which appears to be at the lower end of the therapeutic dosing range.

UC-II is a patented type of collagen made from chicken sternum. It appears to be 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 2016 clinical trial, which reported that participants supplementing with UC-II experienced reductions in pain and stiffness, and experienced improved overall physical function.

Hyaluronic acid is the next-listed ingredient, and may be underdosed.

There are only 5 mg of hyaluronic acid in Instaflex, but the minimum dose of oral hyaluronic acid used in a medical review on hyaluronic acid and knee pain was 80 mg.

Bioperine is a standardized extract of black pepper that helps the body absorb turmeric. We consider this an effective ingredient choice for a pain relief supplement containing turmeric extract.

Instaflex Advanced also contains two inactive ingredients we recommend avoiding.

Titanium dioxide is a bleaching agent that’s banned for use as a food additive in the EU over genotoxicity concerns.

FD&C Blue #1 is an artificial food dye, and a 2012 medical review concluded the following: "This review finds that all of the nine currently US-approved dyes raise health concerns of varying degrees."

Overall, we consider Instaflex Advanced likely to relieve pain, given that the majority of its active ingredients seem effectively dosed for pain relief based on existing clinical studies.

We don't currently recommend this supplement due to the use of titanium dioxide and an artificial food dye.

Instaflex Cream Ingredient Analysis

Instaflex Cream ingredients

Instaflex Pain Relief Cream is a topical treatment for arthritic aches and pains, and its ingredients are shown above.

Menthol is the sole active ingredient, and has been shown in multiple studies to be effective for reducing pain when applied topically.

Polyacrylamide is an inactive ingredient that's a “demonstrated neurotoxin in humans” according to a medical review published in the International Journal of Toxicology.

Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative that was found to be toxic to human cells in at least one clinical trial, as we discussed in our review of another pain relief product called Nervive.

Overall, we consider Instaflex Pain Relief Cream likely to be effective, given its active ingredient.

However, we don't currently recommend this product due to the inclusion of the two inactive ingredients discussed above.

Does Instaflex Cause Side Effects?

Instaflex doesn't appear to have been studied in any clinical trials, which makes it more challenging to determine whether or not it's likely to cause side effects.

However, we can make an educated guess based on its ingredients.

We do not consider Instaflex Advanced or Instaflex Pain Relief Cream likely to cause side effects in otherwise healthy individuals.

The artificial dye Blue 1, which is included in Instaflex Advanced, was shown to cause hypersensitivity reactions in at least one medical review, as we documented in our article on is MiO good for you.

At the time of updating this article, there are no mentions of potential side effects on the Instaflex website that we can find.

Why Was Instaflex Sued?

In 2017, Instaflex settled a lawsuit for $4.5 million over allegations that the company was falsely advertising their supplement as being "scientifically beneficial" for joint support, according to Counsel Financial.

The above-linked news report claims that Direct Digital (which is the manufacturer of Instaflex and has since rebranded to Adaptive Health) agreed to stop claiming that the product was created by a research group and that it contains exclusive ingredients.

We consider these changes to be a good thing, because Instaflex certainly does not contain exclusive ingredients. All of the active ingredients in Instaflex can be found in other supplements. 

We consider this to be a red flag about Instaflex as a brand, but not a consumer safety issue.

Is Instaflex's "Free Sample" Really Free?

Instaflex free sample fine print

The Instaflex website includes a free sample offer, shown above, that provides 14 free days' worth of Instaflex supplements.

The sample is not truly free, as consumers still need to pay for shipping and processing which costs $5.99.

It appears from the fine print on the free sample terms that Instaflex automatically signs up free sample users for the full product subscription after 18 days. This information is towards the bottom of a very long webpage, and we don't believe it's presented in a very fair way to consumers.

It's extremely important that consumers signing up for Instaflex note down their sign-up date so they have the option to cancel without being charged for a full subscription.

Where to Get the Best Price

Instaflex is available at a variety of online retailers. 

Here's the price breakdown for a one-time purchase of Instaflex Advanced at the time of updating this article:

Brand website: $69.99 (plus shipping, link)

GNC: $64.99 (free shipping, link)

Amazon: $53.59 (free shipping, third-party seller, link to Amazon listing)

Walmart: $49.99 (free shipping, third-party seller, link)

Instaflex is currently around 33% cheaper on Walmart than the brand's website.

However, the Walmart and Amazon listings are from third-party sellers and contain slightly different ingredient lists than what's on the brand's website, so it may be safer to purchase from GNC or the brand's website.

Our Clean Joint Health Picks

There are natural compounds which have been shown in clinical studies to support optimal joint health and relieve pain.

Momentous Collagen Powder is our top collagen supplement pick.

Collagen supplementation was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology to reduce visible signs of skin aging as well as improve skin elasticity and skin hydration.

Cornbread CBD Lotion is our top CBD lotion pick.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is clinically shown to be effectively absorbed through the skin, and CBD caused "significant improvements in pain" when applied topically in a 2020 clinical trial.

Cornbread's lotion also contains menthol, which was shown in a 2022 clinical trial to reduce pain scores.

Illuminate Labs Ceylon Cinnamon Extract is our standardized cinnamon supplement, which is third-party tested for purity and potency and costs only $15 at a subscription price.

Cinnamon was shown to reduce inflammatory markers in a 2020 clinical trialThe study authors concluded that “Cinnamon could be regarded as a safe supplement to relieve pain.”

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy.

Real Customers Review Instaflex

Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

Instaflex has been reviewed over 8,000 times on Amazon at the time of updating this article, with an average review rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “Michbruno” who gives the product a 5/5 star rating, and claims it significantly reduced pain:

“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.”

The top negative review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Darrell D." who gives the product a 1/5 star rating, and claims that it caused uncomfortable side effects:

"Let me start with this, after taking this and the Instaflex Super Turmeric for about 4 days, I noticed an improvement with my knee pain. This stuff works! However...roughly after 2 days of taking both, I developed SERIOUS diarrhea! I mean the don't sneeze type. I continued to take thinking I needed time to adjust to the change. NOT!"

Instaflex Advanced currently has an average review rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Google.

Pros and Cons of Instaflex

Here's our take on the pros and cons of Instaflex:

Pros:

  • All active ingredients in Instaflex Advanced have research backing
  • Most active ingredients in Instaflex Advanced are effectively dosed
  • Active ingredient in Instaflex Pain Relief Cream has research backing
  • Both products should support pain relief
  • Mostly positive online customer reviews
  • Free sample available on website

Cons:

  • Instaflex Advanced has artificial dye
  • Instaflex Pain Relief Cream contains phenoxyethanol
  • Products don't appear to be clinically tested
  • Brand settled lawsuit over allegations of false advertising
  • Challenging to find real user reviews on YouTube and TikTok
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

In this article we analyzed the formulation of two popular Instaflex products used for pain relief: Instaflex Advanced (dietary supplement) and Instaflex Pain Relief Cream.

Instaflex Advanced is impressively formulated from an efficacy perspective, and we believe it's likely to support pain relief.

We don't currently recommend Instaflex Advanced due to the use of artificial dye and titanium dioxide.

Instaflex Pain Relief Cream contains only one active ingredient (menthol), and that ingredient is clinically shown to support pain relief.

We don't currently recommend Instaflex Pain Relief Cream due to the use of two inactive ingredients we consider to be questionable from a health perspective.

The manfuacturer of Instaflex settled a lawsuit over claims of false advertising, and has apparently agreed to tone down some of their marketing claims related to product efficacy, which we consider to be a good thing for consumers.

At the time of updating this article, Walmart has the best price on Instaflex Advanced.