About Vital3 Joint Solution
Vital3 Joint Solution is a liquid collagen nutritional supplement that promises to help train the body’s immune system to naturally relieve joint discomfort, increase flexibility and mobility, and ease morning stiffness.
Based on this method of action, the company tells us that Vital3’s patented, all-natural formula has been proven effective in 10 human clinical trials to work with your body’s natural repair processes to lubricate and soothe joints.
By taking three drops of Vital3 per day with water or fruit juice on an empty stomach, at least 10 minutes before eating in the morning, the website tells us you could notice a difference in as little as one week. However, many report benefits after three to four weeks, regardless of age, gender, or weight.
Your joint pain has reached a point where it’s beginning to impact your life, so you’re looking for a natural, safe, non-pharmaceutical method that can help.
But is this what you’ve found with Vital3 Joint Solution? Will it provide dramatic, life-changing results—or at least provide a solid value for the money?
Let’s start exploring each of these questions by taking a look at common causes of joint pain and stiffness.
Your Quick Reference Guide to Joint Pain
When writing about nutritional supplements, we often mention that pain is a symptom; not an underlying cause. In other words, it’s a signal that something is potentially wrong, but doesn’t indicate precisely what’s wrong.
With this in mind, WebMD notes that joint pain—anywhere from mild to excruciating—can be caused by multiple diseases and types of injury, including trauma (strains, sprains, etc.), different forms of arthritis (i.e. inflammation), bursitis, gout, infection, and even cancer.
Many of these same conditions can lead to reduced flexibility and range of motion as well.
Bottom line? Joint pain and reduced range of movement can be the result of one or more causes, so it’s important to speak with your doctor if this is something you regularly experience.
What about Vital3? What ingredients does it use to address joint pain and flexibility? And will they work?
What Ingredients Does Vital3 Joint Solution Contain?
According to the supplement’s website, Vital3’s solution only contains three ingredients:
- Active peptide fragments of Collagen Type II-n1, derived from chicken collagen
- Distiller water
- Acetic acid
Collagen type II is the main structural protein found in connective tissue like cartilage and ligaments, compared to other forms, such as type I and V, which are found primarily in skin, tendons, organs, and cell surfaces, respectively.
Compared to other collagen supplements, Vital3 promises to use advanced production methods that grind its collagen into a powder, without using heat. This powder is then dissolved in antimicrobial and stabilizing acetic acid.
Next, natural enzymes are added to further stabilize the solution, make it more easily absorbed, and “stimulate the regulatory T cells.” Finally, the solution is purified, refined, and filtered by turning it back into a solid and then adding distilled water to re-liquefy.
Sure, this all sounds great, but is collagen supplementation proven to provide joint-related benefits?
Here’s a quick summarization as provided by ConsumerLab:
“Supplements with collagen hydrolysate (typically 10 to 12 grams per day) or gelatin may help reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis when taken for several months (preferably at least 6 months). However, larger studies are needed to confirm this effect and some people may experience mild gastrointestinal side effects.”
But what about the 10 clinical studies mentioned on the Vital3 website? Will the supplement provide better results than others, based on its oral tolerance?
Is Vital 3’s Oral Tolerance Clinically Proven to Provide Joint-Related Benefits?
While the website repeatedly notes that the company has invested more than $45 million into Vital 3 research since 1991, including 10 human clinical trials, it only lists one of these; a 1993 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled group study.
Its conclusion stated that there were therapeutic benefits related to the oral tolerance of collagen, but it was careful to point out, “questions concerning optimum dosing and long-term control of disease remain.” It also didn’t reference a supplement by name, including Vital3.
Digging further elsewhere online, we found 212 results for “collagen oral tolerance” when searching PubMed at the time of our research, some of which went back decades. While we’re not clinical professionals here at HighYa and most of these weren't written in a layman-friendly language, like the study listed on Vital3’s website, many seemed to indicate the positive potential for joint pain reduction.
However, it’s important to temper this by noting that not all were positive, many didn’t study the relationship between collagen and arthritis (or any other type of joint condition), and a meaningful number (perhaps even the majority) were conducted on rats, not humans.
Did any of these studies indicate potential side effects?
What About Potential Vital3 Side Effects?
The manufacturer reinforces in several places on the Vital3 website that it won’t cause any side effects, safety issues, drug interactions, or allergies. They specifically note that in the studies referenced above, not “a single adverse event was reported” and that it’s safe for children under the supervision of an adult.
And even though Vital3’s collagen is derived from chicken, the manufacturer claims their sophisticated manufacturing process allows those with chicken or egg allergies to use it safely. Still, they recommend consulting with your doctor first.
WebMD indicates that, while it’s not fully clear what side effects are associated, the most common associated with collagen type II supplementation is allergic reaction. Other rare side effects could include heartburn, digestive upset, constipation, and headache.
How Much Does Vital3 Joint Solution Cost?
Vital3 is available through four different purchasing options:
- 1 Bottle (5.5 ml, 6-week supply): $38.99
- 2 Bottles: $75.98
- 3 Bottles: $101.90
Each of these will come with an additional $4.95 S&H fee. Other shipping options are available during checkout.
You can also order two bottles of Vital3 through the Automatic Product Shipment program at a price of $68.58. Here, you’ll continue receiving another two-bottle order every two months and charged $65.58 each time.
All Vital3 orders come with a one-year refund policy, less S&H. The company recommends taking it as directed for at least six weeks before requesting a return at 888-9VITAL3 (984-8253).
Are There Any Online Vital3 Customer Reviews?
On Amazon, Vital3 Joint Solution had well over 400 customer reviews and an average rating of 3.3 stars at the time of our research.
There, common compliments frequently referenced beneficial results, such as reduced pain and inflammation, improved flexibility, and easier movement after waking up. On the other hand, frequent complaints related to no results and high price.
When answering the question do Vital3 collagen drops really help for joint pain, ConsumerLab noted that most of the existing research supporting the company’s claims was unpublished. And those that were published were decades old (the 1990s) and only referenced rheumatoid arthritis.
In the end, they concluded:
“Vital 3 may cause a very modest improvement in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms when taken along with standard treatments. However, a 20 mcg daily dose may be more effective than the 60 mcg dose suggested on the product label. It would be helpful to know the results from other, unavailable studies before drawing firm conclusions. There do not appear to be studies for other uses, such as osteoarthritis. Long-term safety has not been established.”
Vital3 Joint Solution is manufactured by Bronson Nutritionals, a Lindon, UT-based company that’s been in business since 1960 and manufactures an expansive line of other nutritional supplements.
They had an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and eight closed complaints as of 4/19/17. Of those with details available, most claimed they weren’t aware they were enrolled in an autoship program, although the company responded quickly with a solution.
Are There Other Collagen-Based Supplements Like Vital3 Joint Solution?
In a word? Yes.
In fact, if you enter the phrase “type II hydrolyzed collagen supplement” into your favorite search engine, you’ll find dozens of options in just about every form, including capsules and tablets, powders, and liquids.
Looking only at liquids, we found a couple dozen options priced anywhere between $9 and $100+, sized between 15 and 32 ounces, with many available in a variety of flavors.
Did any of these feature the same oral tolerance as Vital3? None were advertised as such. But as we learned above, it doesn’t appear this approach is necessarily unique to Vital3, or any single collagen supplement.
Outside of collagen-only options, keep in mind that joint supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin are widely promoted to help ease pain and stiffness as well. Many also come with similarly positive customer feedback as Vital3.
Of these, based on an overall summation of the available clinical evidence, WebMD only lists chondroitin as “possibly effective” for addressing osteoarthritis.
Also, these alternatives can come with their own set of potential side effects, including gas, bloating, and cramps (mostly related to glucosamine).
How to choose which of these is your best option? Speak with your doctor, who can recommend options based on your specific diagnosis.
Our Bottom Line About Vital3 Joint Solution
While Vital3’s manufacturer didn’t provide much on their site to support the “has been subjected to some of the most extensive clinical trials ever conducted on a nutritional supplement” claim, there seemed to be a meaningful amount of clinical evidence listed on the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed linking oral tolerance and collagen supplementation with a reduction in arthritis-related pain.
However, it didn’t appear this same level of clinical evidence existed for conditions outside of arthritis (such as injury, bursitis, infection, and so forth), which is something we think is important to keep in mind, depending on what your doctor has determined is causing your joint pain.
And finally, none of the evidence we encountered specifically referenced Vital3 Joint Solution, so it remains unclear if its proprietary formula will deliver better results than the—sometimes much—lower priced competition.
We found that online customer feedback for Vital3 was mostly positive, though, so it might be the case that you get what you pay for. If you’re dissatisfied, you can always take the company up on their one-year guarantee, although you’ll be out a few dollars in return S&H.