Whether your sport is running, swimming, basketball or golf, you know that a quick recovery from an injury gets you back in the game sooner. Modern sports medicine is constantly searching for a more effective pain reliever that doesn't have side effects that can affect your performance, and many of these products are sold over-the-counter. Super Oxicell is a topical pain reliever manufactured by Apex Energetics that is formulated to treat acute inflammation associated with minor sprains and other trauma.
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Super Oxicell Claims
There are many topical preparations that claim to relieve the pain from a minor injury, but Apex Energetics claims that Super Oxicell actually treats the inflammation that causes the pain. The company recommends that you apply the product three times daily to a location with thin skin and plenty of blood vessels -- for example, behind the knee or inside the elbow. Presumably, this allows the medication to be absorbed into the bloodstream faster -- the directions do not specify that you must apply the product directly to the affected area.
The key ingredient in Oxicell is glutathione, considered a "powerhouse" antioxidant. It is accompanied by cysteine as well as cystine, which is simply two linked cysteine molecules, and an enzyme called superoxide dismutase. Although glutathione is a necessary component of the human immune response and its partner chemicals speed its absorption and help it metabolize, there is insufficient evidence to rate its effectiveness as a topical treatment. It also contains the antioxidant CoQ10, as well as NADH, which speeds the production of coenzyme Q in the body. Adenosine triphosphate is also listed as an ingredient, along with FADH-2, which increases the production of ATP in the body -- ATP can also be used as a coenzyme. Unfortunately, no proof exists that topical antioxidants are useful in treating sports injuries.
Vitamins and Minerals
Super Oxicell contains a host of B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium and germanium. Although all of these ingredients are important to your body's proper function, none of them have been shown to be effective at treating inflammation. Only vitamin E and some B vitamins are used topically at all, and then only to treat skin conditions.
Of the 43 ingredients in Oxicell, 18 of them are herbs. Bayberry, bitter kola and blue gumtree may improve circulation to the area, and astragalus may help reduce swelling. Arnica and willow may help reduce swelling and relieve pain from bruises, while agrimony may help prevent the bruise from forming. The Super Oxicell label does not list the concentrations of the ingredients, so it is impossible to know if the preparation contains a dose high enough to be effective.
Topical Pain Reliever Effectiveness
According to Harvard Health Letters, topical pain relievers can be effective, although they vary by product -- some are no more effective than a placebo. The most effective formulas use capsaicin to treat nerve pain or salicylates to relieve muscular pain, but Super Oxicell does not contain either of these ingredients. Super Oxicell also claims to not only relieve the pain but to also treat the underlying inflammation, and although a few of the herbal ingredients are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, none have been proved effective.