The Health Benefits of Move Free Joint Supplements

Promotes joint, cartilage, and bone health

Woman icing her shoulder.
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Move Free is a line of dietary supplements designed to support total joint health. The company's many joint-health products are formulated with ingredients such as: 

Some of them also contain vitamins and supplements that are associated with improving joint health and lowering inflammation, such as Omega-3 oil, vitamin D3, and turmeric. Each formulation is different, though, so you may want to familiarize yourself with the different ingredients to see what's likely to work best for you.

As of mid-2020, Move Free offers two lines with distinctly different formulations:

  • Move Free Advanced
  • Move Free Ultra

Move Free Advanced

The formulations in the Move Free Advanced line are all very similar. The base product, which is simply called Move Free Advanced, contains:

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Calcium fructoborate

The other two products in this line are Advanced Plus MSM and Advanced Plus MSM & Vitamin D3. They contain the ingredients listed above along with the added ingredients in their names.

Ingredients: Advanced Line

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Your cartilage contains glucosamine and chondroitin that your body produces naturally and some studies suggest that taking these substances as a supplement can improve cartilage health.

The Move Free website says: Glucosamine is key for the formation of cartilage, an essential building block of your joints to support your mobility and flexibility. Chondroitin is a building block of cartilage that supports joint strength by helping to resist compression in the joint.

However, results of studies are mixed, with some showing a benefit and others showing no benefit or even worsening joint pain. While more research needs to be done, glucosamine and chondroitin have become popular treatments for people with joint pain.

Studies have not shown serious side effects from taking glucosamine and/or chondroitin. The supplements may interact negatively with the blood-thinning drug Coumadin (warfarin).

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is found in the fluid that lubricates your joints and allows you to move with ease. It's sometimes injected into painful joints in people with arthritis, but less is known about it as an oral supplement.

A small but growing body of evidence suggests that supplements may increase the amount of hyaluronic acid in joint fluids plus relieve pain and inflammation and may even improve sleep quality.

Thus far, no notable side effects are associated with oral hyaluronic acid. When it's injected, it can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Itching
  • Tingling
  • Swelling

It's theoretically possible that the same side effects could occur with oral supplements, although they would likely be milder.

Calcium Fructoborate/Boron

Boron is a mineral found in some nuts, fruits, and vegetables as well as in the environment. Boron and boron-containing molecules, including calcium fructoborate, are believed to have numerous effects that relate to better bone health. They're known to help the body maintain good levels of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium; these nutrients are essential to healthy bones and joints. It's also been shown to reduce inflammation and possibly even reduce your risk of developing arthritis.

While much of the evidence is positive, though, not enough research has been done to say definitively that boron supplements are effective at improving joint health or relieving pain from arthritis.

Calcium fructoborate is a sugar-borate, which means the molecule contains one or two sugar molecules attached to a boron atom. Most of the borate in foods is in the form of a sugar-borate. Some research has linked calcium fructoborate supplements to better health benefits than regular borate.

Data suggest that you should get more than 1 milligram of boron per day as part of a healthy diet. It's known that many people get less than this amount through food.

MSM

MSM, as a supplement, is shown to reduce inflammation, joint pain, and muscle pain. It's associated with few known side effects that are generally mild, including:

  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea

MSM is generally well-tolerated at a dosage of up to four grams daily.

MSM contains sulfur, and other sulfur-containing molecules are known to cause adverse reactions when combined with alcohol. Studies haven't yet been done gauging the effect of combining alcohol with MSM. Talk to your doctor about this risk before you combine them.

Vitamin D3

While evidence is mixed, some studies show a correlation between low vitamin D and pain, as a vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone loss and fractures, weak muscles, and pain in the muscles and bones. Vitamin D3 is often recommended because research suggests it's the most potent form, which means lower doses may achieve the desired benefits.

Move Free Ultra

The Ultra line does not contain glucosamine and chondroitin and the products have few ingredients in common.

  • Ultra 2in1 Faster Comfort: Calcium, calcium fructoborate
  • Ultra Tumeric and Tamarind: Tamarind seed, Curcuma long extract (turmeric)
  • Ultra Omega Joint Plus: Omega-3 from krill oil, hyaluronic acid, astaxanthin
  • Ultra Triple Action: Type II collagen (cartilage, potassium chloride), boron, hyaluronic acid

See above for information on hyaluronic acid, calcium fructoborate, and boron.

Ingredients: Ultra Line

Calcium

Calcium is necessary for strong bones and is often recommended for preventing osteoporosis (bone loss). However, calcium deficiency and supplementation are not strongly associated with joint pain. The 35 milligrams contained in Move Free 2in1 Faster Comfort is only 3% of the recommended daily allowance.

Tamarind

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica L. or Fabaceae) is a tropical fruit with numerous uses in traditional medicine. Research has shown that tamarind seed extract is a potent protector of joints because it appears to inhibit the activity of several enzymes that degrade bone and cartilage, relieve inflammation, and act as an antioxidant.

Tamarind seed, thus far, has not been associated with any known negative side effects. Eating the pulp of the fruit may have a laxative effect, especially in large amounts.

Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a popular spice that's long been a traditional remedy for inflammation, infection, and wounds. It's primary ingredient is curcumin, which research has shown to down-regulate inflammatory processes and relieve joint pain associated with arthritis.

Side effects associated with turmeric include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Increased risk of bleeding

In people who are prone to kidney stones, turmeric may Increase the risk of developing stones.

Krill Oil/Omega-3

Krill oil, which comes from a crustacean called krill that's similar to shrimp, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests that the omega-3 in krill oil may be easier for your body to absorb than omega-3 from fish oil.

Omega-3 is known to reduce inflammation and help reduce pain. Animal studies suggest krill oil, especially, reduces levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (specialized cells from the immune system).

Common side effects of omega-3s include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas and burping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Heartburn and acid reflux

It may help to start with a low dose and increase it gradually.

Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a type of pigment found in micro-algae and other aquatic organisms including salmon, shrimp, and krill. Research has shown it to be valuable as a nutritional supplement for many reasons, including as an antioxidant that helps prevent the induction of inflammation.

Scientists are in the early stages of research into astaxanthin and there's much they still don't know. However, so far, no significant side effects have been reported in humans or animals.

Type II Collagen

Using the same protein found in healthy cartilage, type II collagen is believed to work with the immune system to preserve cartilage. Some studies have shown improvement in joint function and pain. A 2017 review of supplements for osteoarthritis found evidence that type II collagen improved pain in the short term, but not medium or long term.

Collagen is generally well-tolerated and isn't associated with any major side effects. Possible minor side effects include:

  • Mild diarrhea
  • Heavy feeling in the stomach
  • Rash

No negative drug interactions have been found and no standard dosage has been established. Some studies have reported good results with 40 milligrams per day.

A Word From Verywell

The ingredients in Move Free formulations are generally considered safe; however, studies into their effectiveness are often mixed. Some of these supplements are well researched while little is known about others, and few have established dosages.

As with any supplement, you should talk to your doctor before you start taking any Move Free products to make sure you can do so safely.

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