Joint Help is iForce Nutrition’s most recent joint-support formula which features just two ingredients, Cissus and something you’ve probably never heard of: Andrographis paniculata…[Skip to the Bottom Line]
Cissus Quadrangularis is a plant indigenous to Africa and parts of Asia, but has recently gained popularity as a joint/bone support supplement. A 2003 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that the extract possessed “a definite antiosteoporotic effect” in rats. For anyone who suffers from a bone debilitating disease such as osteoporosis, this is good news, but Cissus may have implications for athletes as well.
Cissus has been demonstrated to influence early regeneration of connective tissue in multiple studies using mice, and preliminary human research is promising as well. A 2013 study found that subjects with exercise related injuries who recieved 3200mg of Cissus Quadrangularis extract over an 8 week period reported a decrease in joint pain. However, given that the nature of the results was somewhat subjective, and there was no placebo group, further study is needed.
Joint Help contains 1000mg of Cissus extract which is significantly less than the amount used in the above mentioned human study. However, the particular extract used in Joint Help is standardized to 10% ketosterones (active compound), meaning it may be more effective than the average Cissus extract.
A 2009 study, published in “Clincal Rheumatology”, found that Andrographis paniculata (300mg daily) effectively reduced tenderness and inflammation in the joints of subjects with Rheumatoid Arthritis, though no significant reduction in pain was noted. Andrographis paniculata works via inhibition of the protein complex NF-kB, which signals the activation of various cytokines and interleukins involved in the inflammatory response. By blocking the action of NF-kB, Andrographis paniculata can reduce inflammation (as seen in the above mentioned study).
Unfortunately, the only study we have to go by involved Rheumatoid Arthritis patients, so it the implications for otherwise healthy athletes looking to preserve/protect their joints are unknown. Overall, Andrographis paniculata is a fairly potent anti-inflammatory so it may very well be helpful for those with slight to moderate joint discomfort. Joint Help contains 126mg of ParActin, a patented form of Andrographis paniculata.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Joint Help is a combination of two ingredients, both of which have decently strong preliminary support for overall joint health and possibly reducing joint pain. Despite the ingredients used not having as much clinical support as certain other joint support ingredients, the combination of Cissus and ParActin may very well decrease inflammation in the joints, therefore making it useful for athletes whose joints are constantly under pressure. In order to derive the most benefit, we’d suggest taking 2-3 doses daily. Considering the average Cissus supplement is roughly 30-40 cents per 1000mg serving, Joint Help is more or less appropriately priced and may be worth a shot, especially in those who don’t respond well to more common joint support formulas (Glucosamine, MSM, etc.).
- Chidambara Murthy, K. N., et al. “Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of Cissus quadrangularis L.” Journal of medicinal food 6.2 (2003): 99-105.
- Shirwaikar, Annie, Saleemulla Khan, and S. Malini. “Antiosteoporotic effect of ethanol extract of< i> Cissus quadrangularis Linn. on ovariectomized rat.”Journal of ethnopharmacology 89.2 (2003): 245-250.
- Bloomer, R. J., et al. “Cissus quadrangularis reduces joint pain in exercise-trained men: A pilot study.” The Physician and sportsmedicine 41.3 (2013): 29-35.