What’s in a health claim? Should be a healthy dose of proof

Name a common health concern, and there’s probably a dietary supplement that promises a solution. But when advertised promises aren’t backed up with adequate proof, the Federal Trade Commission sees a problem. The makers of the BrainStrong Adult dietary supplement agreed to settle FTC charges of deceptive advertising for making unsupported health claims about BrainStrong with DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid. The companies said the product was clinically proven to improve adult memory and would prevent cognitive decline. But the research they cited didn’t support these claims. Under the settlement, the companies can’t claim their products prevent cognitive decline or improve memory unless they have sound scientific proof. They also can’t say those health benefits are clinically proven if that’s not the case.

BrainStrong’s ads — on the internet, national TV and packaging — referred to a “recent clinical study” that set it apart from other supplements, and thousands of people paid about $30 for a 30-day supply of the product. In fact, that particular clinical study found that people who took BrainStrong didn’t show meaningful improvement on memory tests compared to people who took a placebo. What’s more, the study wasn’t designed to test cognitive decline.

Before you start taking any dietary supplement, check with your health care professional. That’s really your best source on whether a supplement is safe for you.

Tagged with: advertising, diet, health
Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Comments

It's nice to see the FTC doing a good job keeping up with these false claims made about drug substances that are not worth a plug nickel. Helping the consumer from being victims everyday, keep up the good work.

That's cool! The FTC does a great job, it would be very helpful for all of us. I am so glad that I visit this post!

Thanks,

Leave a Comment

Commenting Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.