Did you see the Joint Juice TV commercial with Joe Montana? I did, and that's what got me to thinking about Joint Juice. I've seen this product in my local supermarket before and while I have reviewed most of its ingredients previously, I have not specifically reviewed Joint Juice itself. That's what I want to do now, because I'm sure a lot of people will be wondering if Joint Juice is right for them because of the Joe Montana TV commercial.
What is Joint Juice?
The name Joint Juice is catchy because it immediately makes you think it's a supplement for the joints. Specifically, Joint Juice is a supplement that is supposed to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis. This is the most common type of arthritis, so odds are, most people have this form.
Unlike many other arthritis supplements which are pills, Joint Juice is a drinkable supplement. The flagship product is just called Joint Juice but there is another type – called Joint Juice Hyal-Joint – that I'll touch on below. Right now Let's just look at the main type of Joint Juice.
Joint Juice Ingredients
The main active ingredients in Joint Juice said to be:
- Glucosamine HCI 1500mg
- Chondroitin Sulfate 200mg
- Green Tea Extract 120mg
Joint Juice also has 100% of the daily value for vitamin C and 25% of the DV for vitamin D as well as 10% of the daily value for calcium. For most people, the levels of these nutrients should have no therapeutic effect on arthritis, so let's focus on the 3 main ingredients.
If you currently take a glucosamine supplement, go get it and look at the ingredients. I will bet that you see glucosamine HCL listed. I'm saying this because when I survey glucosamine supplements, the majority of these products contain glucosamine HCL – but why?
The vast majority of glucosamine research -and proof – is not on glucosamine HCL, but rather glucosamine sulfate.
You may remember that glucosamine HCL is one of the main ingredients in the arthritis product called Supple, which is often advertised via its 30 minute TV infomercial.
I have already reviewed why I believe glucosamine sulfate is better than glucosamine HCL when I wrote 4 facts about glucosamine you don't know.
Why do supplement companies continue to put what I feel is an inferior product in their glucosamine supplements? I make this bold statement because of the research that has been done on glucosamine HCL.
For example, here is a study from 2006 published in the New England Journal of Medicine called the GAIT Study.
GAIT stands for the Glucosamine Administration Intervention Trial and it was one of the largest glucosamine studies done and involved 1583 people and used exactly the same concentration of glucosamine HCL and chondroitin sulfate as Joint Juice.
Basically, the GAIT Study noted that glucosamine HCL – either alone or in combination with chondroitin sulfate – had no significant effect on reducing arthritis pain. They were no better than those using a placebo.
Here is some specifics on the GAIT study if you want more information.
In 2010 a 24 month follow up to the GAIT trail was published. This study had 662 people. Unfortunately, this study also noted the lackluster effect of glucosamine HCL and chondroitin sulfate compared to placebo.
If glucsamine HCL is going to work, research suggests that it might be most effective for only mild forms of arthritis.
It's because of stuff like this that I call glucosamine HCL a “watered down version” of glucosamine sulfate.
Let me be clear, I am not totally endorsing glucosamine sulfate, because not all studies say it works either. But there is more proof overall for glucosamine sulfate than glucosamine HCL.
If these reports are to be believed, then it also means that the combination of glucosamine and chonddroitin are not better together.
I'm guessing that most arthritis supplements contain chondroitin sulfate because of research noting that it might slow the reduction in joint space that accompanies osteoarthritis. In other words, chondroitin might slow the progression of osteoarthritis. That's good.
But, glucosamine sulfate still has far more proof that it might help osteoarthritis than chondroitin sulfate.
Until more is known, men should speak to their doctors before using chondroitin sulfate. The is some evidence that chondroitin sulfate may increase the risk of prostate cancer. The connection is based on a correlation; in other words, as chondroitin levels go up so too does prostate cancer risk. This doesnt mean chondroitin supplements cause cancer. But, its worth a discussion with a pharmacist or doctor to learn more.
Green Tea Extract
The makers of Joint Juice doesn't specifically say what “extract‘ they use, but I believe it may be EGCG. There is some evidence that EGCG may help reduce arthritis development. Most of the proof so far has stemmed from lab animals and test tube studies. Still, it's intriguing research.
But, how much EGCG might help arthritis and would EGCG help people who already have arthritis? These questions are not well known, which means adding green tea extract to Joint Juice might be jumping the gun a bit.
Since they dont tell us what extract they use, Its possible that the green tea extract might be caffeine. While the Joint Juice list of ingredients does not mention caffeine, I can somewhat understand why caffeine might be in an arthritis supplement. Research exists that caffeine can help reduce feelings of pain.
Caffeine has also been shown to reduce feelings of pain during exercise too.
That said, I am not aware of any study that specifically looked at caffeine helping arthritis pain.
If you try Joint Juice, it may take 8 weeks before you notice any significant effect.
Joint Juice Hyal-Joint
Joint Juice Hyal-Joint contains Hyaluronic Acid in place of chondroitin sulfate. As I first reported in my book about supplements, the evidence is that hyaluronic acid injections might help arthritis – not hyaluronic acid supplements. As such I don't think hyaluronic acid supplements help osteoarthritis at all.
Because we are all different, I ultimately I don't know if Joint Juice will help everyone or not. I'm sure for some people it will help them and I know Joe Montana means well when he talks about Joint Juice on TV. But when I look at the evidence for the ingredients in Joint Juice, I believe that its effects would be best felt in people with mild forms of osteoarthritis.
Here is Joint Juice on Amazon for those who are interested.
What do you think?
John Purpura says
Hi I’m new to this site. ill be 81 in July and have been taking Join Juice extra strength since last April for Polymyalgia .i had been having shoulder pains early in the mornings at times it would be so bad it would wake me up. My Dr. had been treating me for about 2-3 years it with prednisone. a friend told me about Joint Juice so I tried it just regular strength it seemed to help somewhat after about 2 months I went to a different drug store and lo and behold they had extra strength joint juice I bought a 6 pack. within 3-4 days no more pain in my shoulders!!!!!
after another 3-4 months I tried skipping and drinking it every other day. no problem! now since November I need it about every 3 days. one in a while I forget but usually next morning I start to feel the old pain coming back I realize why back to every 3 days.
Hi John, welcome and thanks much for sharing. I’m happy that Joint Juice is helping you.
Linda Small says
This Joint Juice is helping me for I have only been taking it for about 2 weeks now..I don’t have as much pain in my feet like I used too..Wish I would have known about this earlier..
I work at a Middle school 8 hrs during school and 10 hrs in summer..
Hi Linda, so glad you are getting relief from Joint Juice. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.
Hi there – I stumbled across your post while looking to see if anyone else felt the way I have been when drinking joint juice. Truth be told, my joints all over my body feel WORSE when I drink the stuff. I stopped drinking it for about a week and was feeling pretty good, then I downed one last night & Sat down to watch a movie. By the end, I got up to go to bed and I felt like complete crap again, as I do this morning.
Not sure if there is another connection, but it seems to be the villain. Gonna stave it off again and see if it helps…
Hi Rochelle, oh Im so sorry to hear that! I dont know what could be causing your reaction (allergy to ingredients?). I think based on what you said, its probably wise to get off it and see if your symptoms improve. Do let me know what happens.
Sandie Marie Gordon says
Sandie you are very welcome!
tokoloshe111David Hudson says
My sister in law recommended Activ Joint Juice. I have emailed her your very informative artcle.
David, thanks I hope it helps her.
Deborah Henderson says
Dear Joe, Love your article & comment replies, but please have someone proof read for spelling. This will support your crediblity. best wishes, Deborah
Deborah, Thanks -and thanks for the feedback too. I usually have my niece who -is a proofreader -go though my reviews first, but sometimes I try to do myself (like this one) and you know what happens when I do that 🙂
Elzy Lasley says
Joe, I have just started to take joint juice. Some of your remarks have discouraged me a little, but it appears that each person is different, so I’ll try it for a while and see. There is a product that I have been taking for years which helps with overall pain and inflammation. It is GDU made by Daniel Chapter One. It is a formula which contains natural proteolytic enzymes, ie bromelain, quercetin, turmeric, and feverfew.
Elzy, I didn’t mean to discourage you and I say give it a shot. If joint juice (glucosamine HCL), helps, then that’s whats most important for me. You should know in a bout 8 weeks if its helping – and I do hope it helps. Please let me know what happens.
Joe, glucosamine HCl is the purest form of glucosamine which means that all types of glucosamine sulfate (both NaCl and KCl) are made by adding either sodium chloride or potassium chloride to glucosamine HCl to create either of the sulfate versions. so if the sulfate version, which are you referring to, is better why is it better than the base form.
Isaac, what I can say is that the best research -trials showing glucosamine helps OA – uses glucosamine sulfate. the trials that have used glucosamine HCL dont show the same effect. case in point, the GAIT trial – an NIH trial that used glucosamine HCL – showed that it was pretty ineffective.
Joe, which of the sulfates are you referring to. This study states that there is no difference in the effectiveness of either glucosamine. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16324409?dopt=Abstract
Isaac, yes Ive seen that study. Still, if I look at all the studies on glucosamine sulfate that show it helps, they are more numerious than those of glucosamine HCL. those studies are not perfect though and so this doesn’t mean glucosamine sulfate is a slam dunk. I dont think it is actually. Studies like the one you referenced really do preventing me and others from giving it 2 thumbs up because when you come right down to it, it might not help for some. Its just the type Id put more “reserved faith” based on the research to date.
Forgot to mention that it contains 80mg of hyaluronic acid.
Arthri-Flex is an effective joint support formula developed from the latest studies on joint nutrition science. Arthri-Flex combines Glucosamine Sulfate, naturally occurring Chondroitin Sulfate, and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) with FLEXICOL (a belnd of premium Type II Chicken Sternum Collagen that naturally contains both Chondroitin Sulfate and Hyaluronic Acid) and other synergistic herbal extracts and mineral compounds, to be a valuable supplement for healthy functioning joints and cartilage.* Satisfaction guaranteed. Bovine free. No Sugar, Yeast, Starch, Soy, Corn, Dairy, Preservatives or Artificial Flavors.
•Soothes and maintains joints and cartilage*
•Containing Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin, MSM, Type II Chicken Sternum Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Boron Glycinate, Boswellia Serrata, Grape Seed and White Willow Bark
•With 80mg of Hyaluronic Acid
•If you are diabetic or have a Shellfish allergy, please consult your physician before using this product
Vitamin C, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum, Glucosamine Sulfate, MSM, Hyaluronic Acid, Flexicol Proprietary Blend containing Premium Chicken Sternum Type II Collagen (naturally occurring Chondroitin Sulfate), Boron Glycinate, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Grape Seed Extract and White Willow Bark Extract
Cellulose, Stearic Acid, Polyvinly Alcohol, Polyplasdone, Titanium Dioxide, Magnesium Stearate, PEG, Talc. Contains glucosamine sulfate derived from shrimp and crab shells.
Jill, the hyaluronic acid is probably not an active ingredient. its found in arthritis supplements because of research involving injections of hyaluronic acid. Even those are hit or miss from what I understand. I am not ware of any research on hyaluronic acid helping arthritis.
I also noticed the product also has white willow bark. I see this in other arthritis supplements. White willow bark has aspirin like effects. As such, it might decrease pain.
What is your take on a product called Arthri-flex Advantage ?
•Arthri-Flex® Advantage combines Glucosamine Sulfate, naturally occurring Chondroitin Sulfate, and MSM Methylsulfonylmethane) with FLEXICOL TM.
•Contains synergistic herbal extracts and mineral compounds, to be a valuable supplement for healthy functioning joints and cartilage.
•Arthri-Flex® with FLEXICOLTM, will nourish cartilage and lubricate joints to improve flexibility, comfort and range of motion.
Arthri-Flex® Advantage Arthri-Flex® Advantage is formulated to reduce the joint degeneration that occurs as we grow older. This powerful formula contains the common Glucosamine and Chondroitin ingredient, but also combines these magical ingredients with Hyaluronic Acid and FlexicolTM, to create the most effective and comprehensive joint formula available today. Arthri-Flex® Advantage combines Glucosamine Sulfate, naturally occurring Chondroitin Sulfate, and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) with FLEXICOLTM (a blend of premium Type II Chicken Sternum Collagen that naturally contains both Chondroitin Sulfate and Hyaluronic Acid) and other synergistic herbal extracts and mineral compounds, to be a valuable supplement for healthy functioning joints and cartilage
My husband and I just started taking this as he has osteoarthritis in his back and hands and I have it in my knees and can barely walk. The comments on this product have been positive by others who have used the product.
jill, while Ive never heard of that product I think its main active ingredient is glucosamine sulfate. Its possible the other stuff in it might help to some degree but without good studies its hard to say either way. Do let me know if it helps your husbands arthritis.
What about polymyalsia. Is there any supplements that will help with the pain. On low dose of prednesone, down to 4 mg. is there a supplement that will help or do you recommend exercise?
Jeff, no promises but take a look at my review of Anatabloc. and zyflamend Again no promises they will help. If you try either of them and they work – or dont – I hope you will let me know.
Danny Kirk says
Joe, interesting article. I don’t need joint juice but I know 4 people that are taking it and say its incredible for their joint pain. Most of the reviews I have read people say its either incredible or did nothing! There seems to be no in-between.
Danny, that’s what I hear usually as well.
I am having an allergic reaction to something in “Joint Juice” after only 2 days of use. My symptoms are similar to hives and are very itchy, and seem to be almost every where on my body except my face. I have stopped drinking it of course, but would be interested if any one else has had this problem.
I think your the first Ive heard of with an allergic reaction to joint juice. Virginia, glad you stopped taking it.
John Rich says
Thank you for a very succinct and straightforward analysis of the subject. I can now confidently ask my doctor for a prescription for the placebos.