My Review: Garden Of Life Glucosamine – Do You Really Need It?
It’s time to review Garden of Life Glucosamine, because it’s a pretty expensive product at first sight. But most of the times, supplements like this turn out to be very effective.
Garden of Life’s product doesn’t have the regular ingredients of every joint supplement. It contains a few herbal mixes I haven’t seen before, so it seems a really promising product at first. But when you take it for real, is it as effective as it seems? Does it really treat arthritis and joint pain on the long term?
Let me reveal you both the good and the bad about this supplement.
Note: This review is based on my experience with this product, so it may or may not agree with other reviews you find. I am not praising/criticizing the product or its company, I am simply telling how it worked for me.
So Let’s Get To The Review
Full Name: FYI Ultra For Joint Support from Garden Of Life
Quantity : 120 capsules
Best Actual Price: $36.34
Where I Bought It From: Ebay
Designed For: I think it could work for both RA and OA because it contains pretty varied ingredients that are good for both.
My Rating: 6.80 out of 10
Worth Buying?: I don’t recommend it. Even though it did improve my pain, it’s pretty expensive for what it contains and for what it does. Besides, it’s not the most comfortable supplement when it comes to taking the pills. So I don’t think it’s worth such a high amount of money.
What I Liked About It
- Some of the ingredients are original and very well mixed together (anti-inflammatory herbs and antioxidants)
- Each ingredient has pretty high doses
- It relieved some of my pain (though not as much as I had wished)
What I Didn’t Like About It
- Contains the bad form of glucosamine, that doesn’t have any evidence behind (HCl instead of sulfate)
- One bottle only lasts for 30 days
- You have to take 4 large pills per day
- Really expensive for what it does
- It didn’t relieve my pain better than other supplements with a lower price
My Experience With This Supplement
My Background: I had an old diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis which was my #1 problem in the last 10 years. I also developed a secondary OA in my knees, due to cartilage wear down. It started with my right knee, but after a while my left one also started getting affected.
So I bought this supplement both for my RA and my OA because it contains ingredients that are good for both. The herbs are anti-inflammatory, so they are perfect for RA, while glucosamine rebuilds cartilages and that’s what my OA knees need.
However, I wasn’t expecting it to help my OA much, simply because it has only one ingredient for cartilages, which is glucosamine. But reality is pretty different from theory, so I kept my expectations until after I finished at least one bottle.
First 2 Weeks: It didn’t help me tremendously, but I noticed a change pretty fast. My joints weren’t that stiff when I woke up and they wouldn’t feel so painful the whole day. I had more and less painful periods throughout a day, which wasn’t really the case before.
I can’t tell much about flexibility because I didn’t feel any change. My knees were still pretty sore and it was hard for me to move around even now.
After One Month: I took the pills for another 2 weeks until my bottle ran out. At this time, I was feeling better than before but mostly in terms of pain. My hands were still painful, but not as bad as they used to be before. So there was a change in good, but I wasn’t extremely satisfied.
This supplement promised to increase joint flexibility, and in my case, it didn’t. My knees didn’t change much during these 4 weeks. I still had some pretty bad problems with movement and it was mainly because of them.
So these pills decreased my RA pain but they didn’t improve the mobility of my knees (which had cartilage damage and OA).
PRO #1 – Really Original Ingredients
I can’t say this is the best ingredient list I’ve ever seen, but in my opinion, it’s pretty good. That’s especially because Garden of Life’s product doesn’t have the same boring ingredients that most joint supplement have. Instead, it has 2 combinations that are really original.
– Glucosamine HCl (1500 mg) – it’s the best substance for rebuilding damaged cartilages, which is usually an OA problem. The dose is really good, but I’m disappointed that there isn’t glucosamine sulfate instead of the HCl form (I will explain below)
– Protective Tissue Response Blend (794 mg) – this is combination between Turmeric, Ginger and Boswellia, which are some of the best herbs for inflammation. So I personally love this ingredient blend. What I don’t like is that they’re not saying the exact dose of each of these 3 herbs. I get the best results from turmeric supplement that contain over 1000 mg, so I’m a bit skeptical in this case
– Antioxidant Cartilage Health Complex (301 mg) – that’s another original ingredient made of Pomegranate, Olive leaves and natural Astaxanthin. According to the label, these are all antioxidant herbs that protect unhealthy joints and cartilages. I don’t know about the dose, but I personally like this herbal mix
So except that problem I have with glucosamine, I really like these ingredients. They’re very original, natural and I believe they can really do something.
PRO #2 – Suitable For Both RA And OA
I’m not 100% this is a great thing (and I will explain you below why), but this supplement could be effective in both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
An unwritten rule that I use is that glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM supplement are designed for OA. That’s because they focus on helping and rebuilding cartilages, which is essential is osteoarthritis. On the other hand, RA is caused by inflammation so anti-inflammatory herbs are the best solution. That’s why I recommend turmeric for RA, because I’ve tried it out and it’s the best natural herb for inflammation.
So Garden of Life’s supplement contains both substances for OA (glucosamine) and for RA (the herbal mixes). This seems a great thing at first sight, because you can use it no matter what form of arthritis you have.
But there’s one problem. Supplements like these are usually not strong enough for any of these 2 conditions. They have decent doses overall, but they’re not enough to cure any type of pain.
An average turmeric supplement has about 1000-1500 mg of powder per serving. This one has 754 mg in combination, so I assume turmeric is somewhere around 33%. Is this enough? Not really. So things are both good and bad from this point of view, but one thing is clear. You can try this supplement even if you have OA or RA, it could work in either case.
PRO #3 – Does Relieve The Pain (At Least Partially)
Even though I wasn’t amazed by this supplement, I can’t say it didn’t do its job. In fact, compared to other supplements I tried, it worked pretty well in fact.
I could see a decrease in my RA pain during the month I took the pills. It wasn’t like it took my pain away, it wasn’t like it was the best thing I ever used, but it did work partially. So I can’t really criticize it at this chapter.
However, it didn’t improve the flexibility of my knees almost at all. I couldn’t move any better at the end of one month, so I’m not very sure it’s effective for osteoarthritis. Those 1500 mg of glucosamine are good, but they’re not in the right form, in my opinion.
But I don’t mean to criticize this product. Compared to others, it relieved my pain, even if not as much as I hoped.
CON #1 – Not The Right Form Of Glucosamine
If you read any of my other reviews, you may know that I criticize supplements that use glucosamine HCl instead of the sulfate form. And I’m only saying this based on studies.
You probably heard how effective glucosamine is for osteoarthritis, didn’t you? Well, all those good things you heard were about glucosamine sulfate. That’s the form that brings all those benefits for unhealthy joints. On the other hand, there were some studies conducted on the HCl form as well.
But unfortunately, the results weren’t very positive. Researchers concluded that the hydrochloride doesn’t have the same effect for joints as the sulfate form. I haven’t read any study that said the opposite, so for now, that’s how things are.
So in my opinion, this is the #1 downside of this supplement. It may have 1500 mg of glucosamine (which is a great dose), but if it contains the HCl form, I doubt it can be as effective. That the reason why it didn’t helped my knees, in my opinion.
Therefore, if you really want a good supplement with glucosamine, make sure it contains the sulfate form. That’s why I don’t really recommend you this supplement, but this is just the first reason.
CON #2 – 4 Capsules Per Day Is A Lot
I’m not saying that you should only choose supplements that require taking 1 pill per day. That’s not an important criteria.
But I still believe that taking 4 pills per day is way too much, even if they are gelatin capsules. However, it’s not the case here, because Garden of Life’s pills are pretty large and heavy. So they’re not so easy to swallow. Yes, they’re not really horse pills like other supplements I tried, but they’re still pretty big.
But it’s not all about comfort. I know that all these supplements and drugs you’re taking are decomposed in the liver. Obviously, none of them are very healthy from this point of view. So I don’t think it’s same taking 1 pill per day and taking 4. Logically speaking.
Besides, for me it’s really hard to remember taking 4 pills one day. Yes, I can pretty much remember taking 3, as long as I take them after the meals. But the 4th, it’s just really hard, especially if you’re in the office all day long. Obviously, you can take 2 together, but it’s hard to swallow them because they’re not that small. Therefore, that’s not a solution either.
So I personally kind of try to avoid products that require such a number of pills daily. 3 is fine, but anything that goes beyond this number is too much for me.
CON #3 – Only Lasts One Month
I was really glad to see that one bottle from this supplement contains 120 pills. Normally, I would have thought it would last 2-3 months, which was pretty good.
But that’s not really the case. As I said above, you have to take 4 pills per day, which means that one bottle is designed to last 30 days.
Now, that doesn’t really bother me because I prefer supplements specially designed for one month. The pills are usually in better conditions when they’re not fit in together with other hundreds of pills in a small bottle.
But considering the price of this supplement, I was really disappointed to find out that it only lasts so little. If one bottle was enough for 2 months, I don’t think I could have criticized the price. But as it’s not, I can’t say I’m satisfied.
CON #4 – Pretty Expensive
That’s actually the #1 reason why I don’t recommend this supplement. I’m not 100% satisfied with what it contains, how it works or others, but those things didn’t bother me as much as this.
In my opinion, the price is much higher than it should be. I don’t think this supplement is worth so much, and I will tell you exactly why.
– It contains a weak form of glucosamine. Even if the dose is really good and the additional ingredients are also very promising, the HCl form doesn’t have the same benefits as the sulfate one, which does exist in many supplement from the market. It’s not me saying this, it’s studies.
– One bottle only lasts one month. If things were different, I couldn’t criticize the price, that’s for sure. But as it is, I think it’s a very little quantity for $36.
– It didn’t make miracles for my pain. I can’t deny that it improved it partially, but there are cheaper supplements that can take my pain to that level. So judging after this, it’s not worth such a high amount.
So overall, this supplement is way too expensive for what it offers, that’s what I think.
My Final Verdict – Is It Worth Buying?
Short answer: Not really, because it’s too expensive for what it has to offer.
My personal answer: This supplement did decrease my RA pain partially, but it didn’t improve my knee flexibility and it didn’t help me move better than before. So overall, it did work, but not better than some other products that cost me under $30. Judging after this, I’m not going to buy it again.
Besides, I didn’t have a very easy time taking the pills. They are indeed pretty large, but the thing that bothered me most was that you have to take 4 pills every day. That’s something very uncomfortable, believe me.
So overall, I wasn’t impressed by this supplement in any chapter. That’s why I don’t think it’s worth $36 when I can spend less money on something that works much better and on the long term. That’s my opinion about it.