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Relief Factor Review: A Dietitian’s Look into Effectiveness and Safety

Written by Emily Hirsch, MS, RD

Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD 

Last Updated on January 14, 2022

Dietitian Rating:

3.5

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Support for Claims:4.0
  • Ingredient Safety:3.0
  • Value for the Price:3.0
  • Brand Transparency:4.0

Relief Factor is a fish oil-based supplement that promises to help reduce body pain associated with aging, exercise, and everyday living. The blend does contain ingredients to support reducing pain and inflammation, but at a hefty price.

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Relief Factor Review: A Dietitian’s Look into Effectiveness and Safety
Photo credit: iStock.com/NickyLloyd

Pros

  • Evidence-based ingredients
  • Will likely reduce pain associated with inflammation in most people
  • May protect joints from on-going damage

Cons

  • The company does not offer a money-back guarantee
  • Potential for unpleasant side effects
  • Steep price point

What Is Relief Factor?

Relief Factor was designed to mitigate pain. It is an anti-inflammatory supplement that promises to relieve muscle and joint pain with its unique botanical blend.

This supplement claims to target the underlying problem areas from four different metabolic pathways to alleviate pain at the source.

Relief Factor is meant to be taken on a long-term basis as the company claims the effects of the product will increase over time.

Relief Factor was created by a father and son team, Pete and Seth Talbot. This duo is self-described serial entrepreneurs who appear to have no medical expertise.

They have funded other projects, including software development and a coffee subscription service.

According to the manufacturers, Relief Factor was developed by a “team of doctors” without any further information regarding their expertise or qualifications.

Evaluation of Ingredients

Relief Factor contains omega-3 fatty acids and a blend of botanical ingredients, including turmeric, resveratrol, and icariin.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have long been touted for their anti-inflammatory properties.

According to research, omega-3 supplementation has been shown to reduce the production of chemicals in the body linked to inflammation.

Several studies have evaluated fish oil supplements for preventing heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions related to inflammation.

But what does the research say about omega-3 fatty acids and pain management?

There are two types of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil: EPA and DHA. Both EPA and DHA can reduce inflammation, which causes swelling and pain.

In one study, omega-3 fatty acids were found to reduce morning stiffness along with tender and swollen joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

This study also demonstrated that participants were able to reduce their intake of pain medication.

There is strong evidence that omega-3 supplementation reduces pain for people with arthritis.

Additionally, because of its ability to reduce systemic inflammation, omega-3 supplementation may have some added far-reaching health benefits, such as reducing chronic diseases.

Summary 

Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to a decrease in inflammation, which may lead to a reduced risk of chronic disease and pain associated with arthritis.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice and medicinal herb that has been used for thousands of years. More recently, turmeric has been studied for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties appear to be as powerful, if not more powerful, than prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

One study showed that turmeric was even more effective than medication in reducing pain and tenderness for people with active rheumatoid arthritis.

A 2019 systematic review found that 1,000 mg a day of turmeric reduced osteoarthritis pain and inflammation and the need for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like diclofenac and ibuprofen.

Relief Factor provides 667 mg of turmeric, which is a bit lower than the effective dosage in the aforementioned medical review.

Summary 

Turmeric is a spice and medicinal herb that has been shown to reduce joint pain and inflammation. However, effective doses appear to be around 1,000 mg per day.

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is an antioxidant-like compound mainly found in the skins and seeds of berries and grapes.

Research suggests that when taken in supplement form, resveratrol may help protect cartilage from deteriorating in people with arthritis.

In a recent review, researchers suggest that resveratrol has positive joint-protective effects for people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Summary 

Resveratrol acts as an antioxidant and may protect the cartilage and joints of people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Icariin

Icariin is an active compound extracted from the traditional Chinese herb Epimedium brevicornum Maxim.

Icariin has been reported to have a variety of positive properties, including anti-inflammatory effects.

In one study, icariin had a clinically significant and therapeutic effect for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

In an animal study, icariin was shown to prevent cartilage and bone degradation in rabbits.

More human research studies are needed to determine whether icariin poses significant benefits for people with muscle and joint pain.

Summary 

Icariin is an herb extract that may have a therapeutic effect on patients with rheumatoid arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. However, more research is needed to analyze this link.

Verdict on Claimed Benefits

Below is our summary of the available evidence for the claimed benefits of Relief Factor based on the available research:

Reduces painStrong Evidence
Reduces inflammationStrong Evidence

All of the ingredients in Relief Factor, including omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, resveratrol, and icariin, are supported by strong scientific evidence to promote relief from muscle and joint pain, primarily for those with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.

The research has not evaluated the benefit of these ingredients for general joint pain.

Dosage, Side Effects, and Safety

The Relief Factor website recommends you start by taking 3 packets a day, which is 12 capsules. After finding your “right” dosage, the website suggests reducing the amount to 2 packets per day, or as needed.

According to Relief Factor, the side effects include loose stool, nosebleeds, and dizziness.

Fish oil can be irritating for people with stomach sensitivities; however, taking the supplement with food will help to avoid gastrointestinal upset.

Relief Factor contains fish oil and soy; therefore, individuals allergic to these ingredients should not consume this supplement.

People who use blood thinners should consult their doctors before using Relief Factor. Some of the ingredients in the Relief Factor promote increased blood flow and may result in unwanted interactions with blood thinners.

Before taking any supplement, it’s essential to speak with your health care provider to ensure its safety for you.

Cost and Where to Buy

A month’s supply will cost you $93.95 plus shipping and handling on the Relief Factor website.

However, you can join the 3-Week QuickStart program and get your first order for $19.95, then continue with an auto-ship program for $79.95 monthly.

Relief Factor does not offer a money-back guarantee. However, the company will accept the returns within 90 days of the original purchase if the product is unused.

If Relief Factor does not work for you, it appears you are out of luck and out of the money spent on your first order.

How Relief Factor Compares to Alternatives

There is a wide variety of joint support supplements on the market to choose from. Many contain some of the active ingredients found in Relief Factor at a better price point.

For example, Nordic Naturals has a joint health supplement with a similar blend of ingredients to help reduce inflammation and support joint health and costs $45 per month.

Additionally, Instaflex Joint Support contains a similar nutrition profile but is backed by scientific research. One study found that taking Instaflex Joint Support for 8 weeks reduced joint pain severity, particularly in participants experiencing knee discomfort.

Instaflex Joint Support is also less expensive at $24.00 for a month’s supply.

Another alternative, and far less expensive option for joint pain relief, is to take a high-quality turmeric supplement.

For example, Source Naturals Turmeric with Meriva supplement contains 500 mg of turmeric extract per tablet and costs roughly $6.00 to $11.00 per month, depending on whether you take 1 or 2 tablets daily.

Summary

Relief Factor provides a blend of well-researched ingredients; however, there are other, less expensive supplements that may provide similar benefits. Nordic Natural’s Omega Joint and Instaflex Joint Support contain research-based ingredients at a much lower price point.

If you’re experiencing joint discomfort, you may also consider taking a high-quality turmeric supplement to see if that provides relief.

The Bottom Line

Relief Factor offers a unique product with a promising blend of ingredients, all of which show evidence in promoting joint health.

However, the evidence appears to be limited to people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, without much research that supports a reduction in pain associated with everyday living.

The product requires a person to take 2 pills per day indefinitely and is expensive compared to other joint health supplements.

Still, if you’re in the market for a joint health supplement that has a blend of well-researched ingredients, Relief Factor could be worth a try.

A Word from Our Dietitian

If you’re looking to reduce joint pain without supplementation, try being more active. Moving your body will keep your muscles and joints healthy.

If you’ve never exercised before, don’t be intimidated. Exercise doesn’t have to be intense. Find an activity that you like and set small and realistic goals for yourself.

For example, you may want to start walking for 20 minutes twice per week and build upon that foundation. Or, you may choose to do some stretching or yoga for 20 minutes in the morning before you start your day.

It’s important to choose an activity you enjoy as this will increase your chances of sticking with it.

Maintaining a healthy weight will also reduce joint stress and can prevent joint pain.

If you’re struggling with maintaining a healthy weight, it’s best to slowly start changing some of your eating habits rather than adopt the latest popular diet craze.

Some tips to maintaining a healthy weight may include:

  • Limit your intake of highly processed foods like cookies, chips, soda, muffins, and fast food.
  • Add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your meals and snacks.
  • Drink water before your meals. This may help you eat less and also help you feel fuller for longer.
  • Avoid distractions while eating. People tend to eat more calories if they’re eating in front of the TV or scrolling through their phones during a meal.
  • Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

Adopting a Mediterranean diet eating pattern may help to alleviate muscle and joint pain naturally.

The Mediterranean diet consists of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and wild fish while reducing dairy products and red meat consumption. 

One study showed that a whole-foods, plant-based diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains might improve functional status and pain reduction in patients with osteoarthritis.

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