BBB National Programs Archive
DrFuhrman.com Discontinues Certain Claims for ‘Immunotect’ Supplement Following NAD Inquiry
New York, NY – Aug. 19, 2013 – DrFuhrman.com, Inc., has informed the National Advertising Division that the company has discontinued certain advertising claims – including “anti-cancer” and cancer treatment claims – made for the company’s Immunotect dietary supplement.
The claims at issue were challenged by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
As part of its routine monitoring program, and in conjunction with NAD’s initiative with CRN to expand the review of advertising claims made for supplements, NAD requested that DrFuhrman provide substantiation for more than a dozen claims, including:
- “Astragalus extracts have been found to increase proliferation or enhance that activity of several immune cells including macrophages, T-cells, and natural killer (NK) cells, and promote immune system anti-tumor activity.”
- “Astragalus has been reported to reduce oxidative stress and improve cardiac function following heart attack, and improve angina symptoms in patients with heart disease.”
- “Immunotect includes a carefully selected combination of ten whole, dried organic mushrooms, each of which has immune-supporting and anti-cancer effects (Maitake, Reishi, Himematsutake, Cordyseps sinensis, Turkey Tail, Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, Zhu Ling, Meshimakobu and Chaga).”
- “Reishi and Turkey Tail mushroom extracts are often used in cancer treatment as an adjunct to chemotherapy – to diminish the side effects and immunosuppression due to chemotherapy drugs and activate the immune system to attack cancerous cells…Maitake and Himematsutake mushroom may have similar effects.”
- “Blueberry, raspberry and goji berry extracts provide antioxidant activity and may provide additional protection against cold and flu.”
During the course of NAD’s inquiry, the advertiser advised NAD that the challenged claims that served as the basis of this inquiry had been permanently discontinued.
At present, NAD noted in its decision, the advertiser’s website Immunotect product reads in part:
- A carefully selected combination of ten mushroom species supports many normal functions of immune cells. The dried organic mushrooms in Immunotect are laboratory grown, and their growth conditions have been optimized for maximum production of beta-glucans and other polysaccharides, the mushroom components thought to promote healthy immunity.
- The deep purple elderberry fruit provides a high concentration of flavonoid antioxidants for a healthy immune response. Blueberry, raspberry and goji berry extracts provide additional flavonoid antioxidants. Astralagus root provides additional antioxidant protection and immune-building phytochemicals.
- A nutritarian diet rich in G-BOMBS (Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds) provide a wealth of immune-supporting phytochemicals. Immunotect was designed to provide additional immune-strengthening substances, with ingredients not typically in one’s diet.
Nothing in its decision, NAD noted, precludes the advertiser from making the revised claims or from claiming that “Immunotect is a unique blend of berries, herbs and ten mushroom concentrates designed to support several different aspects of immune function” – a claim NAD determined the advertiser could support.
DrFuhrman.com, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “welcomes the opportunity to participate in the self-regulatory process and appreciates the careful consideration NAD has given to this matter. In the spirit of cooperation and out of respect for the self-regulatory process, DrFuhrman.com notes that it voluntarily discontinued the challenged claims relating to the Immunotect product prior to the issuance of the NAD’s decision and has since revised its claims relating to that product.”