Vital 3 is a liquid nutritional supplement that is designed for increasing flexibility and mobility. Their advertising says that it lubricates joints and soothes discomfort while also increasing consumers’ range of motion. Their name refers to the 3-drops-a-day of their joint health “solution” – a pun on the fact that it is both a liquid and that it is formulated to solve its users’ joint issues.
There is only one active ingredient listed for Vital 3 joint solution:
Collagen: One of the most fundamental elements of our body’s connective system and of our basic physical makeup in general.
Collagen is one of the main components of our cartilage, the firm-yet-flexible substance that binds our skeletal structure together. It is also a significant part of our synovial fluid, which is the viscous substance that surrounds our joints and provides the lubrication and cushioning that is required to prevent the pain and irritation of bone-to-bone contact. Collagen is also an important part of our skin, ligament, and tendon tissues and makes up about 25% to 30% of the body’s proteins in total.
Given all of that, it seems only natural to assume that collagen would be one of the best ingredients for a joint health supplement. That is not the case, however, because that is not the way that the body processes the substances that it ingests.
Collagen is a complex protein chain that is formulated in the body in a complicated process that combines amino acids, peptide chains, vitamin c, and other basic bodily minerals to form solid-state tissue.
If that type of solid tissue is ingested, our body goes about breaking it back down into its component parts. The collagen is digested in our stomach and its proteins are separated back into their individual chains. The amino acids are also separated out, as are the various other minerals and usable chemicals, and then they are all redistributed throughout the entire body.
The reason that glucosamine and chondroitin are so effective is because they are the chemicals that naturally stimulate the collagen manufacturing process. They help the body’s ability to provide and repair its own collagen rather than misguidedly attempting to directly ingest collagen and have it travel straight to your ligament tissue. You can no more eat collagen and have it become a part of your cartilage than you can eat a piece of bone and have it become part of your skeleton.
It is possible that some small percentage of the nutrients ingested as part of a collagen supplement would go toward joint tissue manufacturing, but it would be a miniscule and imperceptible amount. Collagen is safe for human consumption and there are no side effects related to its ingestion.
Modern joint health supplements have literally hundreds of options of effective ingredients to choose from. Glucosamine and chondroitin are popular for their roll in the collagen, cartilage, and synovial fluid production process. Anti-inflammatories like Boron and MSM are popular because of their ability to reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness in old and damaged joints. Vitamin C, manganese, and Omega-3 fatty acids all contribute to basic joint function and overall wellness.
Despite the existence of all of these safe, tested, and effective options, Vital 3 has chosen instead to utilize only collagen, a solution that has been clinically proven to be inefficient at addressing joint-specific concerns.
It is exceptionally rare that a company would only utilize collagen in their joint health blend, but it is still frequently seen on the ingredients panel of less-reputable supplements for several reasons.
The first explanation of why a company might use collagen in their blend is simple ignorance. It is possible that they genuinely have not seen any studies on the effects of collagen and believe that their product could be effective. This would be disconcerting if it were the case, as it would show a lack of knowledge about both nutritional supplements and human digestive function.
Probably the more frequent reason that joint supplement manufacturers include collagen is that it will appeal to consumers that have a basic level of knowledge about the body. Many people have read or seen somewhere that collagen is part of cartilage and may assume it is so basic a chemical that they can just ingest it and increase their collagen levels.
Given its lack of negative side effects and mild positive benefits there is no downside to including it, so it is seen by manipulative manufacturers as a harmless hook to get some users to purchase their products.
Essentially, if collagen is your only ingredient then there is very little reason to say that your supplement will be effective for joint support.
This is about average for most daily supplements, however many users of Vital 3 will want to add a secondary supplement to get some of the nutrients that Vital 3 doesn’t provide. Having to purchase another daily supplement would certainly makes Vital 3 a less cost effective option.
Bronson was recently named in a lawsuit that was filed against a number of vitamin and supplement manufacturers, suing them for violating the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act by using hazardous levels of lead in their products.
They were also involved in a scandal last year when an independent review website named them as one of several supplement manufacturers that was mislabeling their products and consistently under-dosing their vitamins. There have yet to be any charges filed in that suit, however it also bears noting that Vital 3 has received quite a few formal complaints through the Better Business Bureau and currently have a 0% customer satisfaction rating with the independent business oversight group.
Vital 3 has the most negative online response of any of the many joint health supplements that our panel has reviewed. Their product currently has a 37% satisfaction rating on Amazon, about half of what even mediocre joint health supplements tend to receive. There are quite a few angry customers reporting about their experiences on different online review sites, and these reviews hit on some of the common themes:
“My radio station promotes the heck out of these guys, so I bought a bottle for myself and a couple for my elderly parents as well. None of us noticed even the slightest difference and now they make fun of me every time the ads come on the radio.”
“I took this to help with my arthritis, and I don’t know how this is possible but it actually made my joints worse. The swelled up bigger than usual and were extra tender.”
“You could purchase Vital 3, or you could just put your money in a garbage can and set it on fire. Either way your joints will feel the same.”
The majority of the reviews of Vital 3 are customers reporting disappointment with the product, however a disturbing amount seems to mention their joint and inflammation issues getting worse. Given its limited ingredient list it is difficult to attribute that to the effects of taking Vital 3, however this is also not a response usually found in other joint health supplements’ product reviews, so it seemed irresponsible not to mention.
There are also quite a few reports of customers that are dissatisfied with the automatic shipment program. Many seemed to feel that they had continued to be charged for the product after cancellation and that the terms of Vital 3’s return policies were often not honored.
Our panel of nutrition and wellness experts can safely say that Vital 3 is not an effective product for improving joint health and wellness.
It is rare that our panel offers such a definitive statement on a product, however there is nothing in Vital 3’s ingredients list that suggests it will be effective for treating joint related issues, and the highly negative response from users confirms that assumption.
It is very easy to find more effective products from more reliable manufacturers.
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