BBB National Programs Archive

ERSP Finds Institute for Better Bone Health Can Support Certain Claims for ‘Silical,’ Recommends Marketer Modify Certain Claims

New York, NY – Oct. 30, 2015 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Institute for Better Bone Health (IBBH) can support general performance claims for Silical, a dietary supplement intended to improve bone health, but recommended the marketer modify or discontinue certain claims.

ERSP is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP pursuant to its ongoing monitoring program.

ERSP reviewed broadcast and online advertising claims for Silical, including:

• “The Silical System includes Silical 1 which delivers calcium, Vitamin D, and magnesium – important for bone hardness.”
• “25% of patients die within a year of a hip fracture…”
• “After age 50, dying from a HIP FRACTURE… is now the same risk as dying from BREAST CANCER.”
• “May Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis.”
• “The Silical System provides an organic form of silicon plus 8 other nutrients that are specifically selected because they’re proven to be important for bone health.”

As support for the claims at issue, IBBH submitted studies on the key ingredients found in Silical, including calcium, vitamin D, and silicon. After reviewing the evidence in the case record, ERSP determined that the marketer provided a reasonable basis for the general product performance and establishment claims at issue. However, ERSP recommended that the marketer qualify representations indicating that Silical “May reduce the risk of osteoporosis” by including language that clearly reinforcing that the importance of adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, throughout life, in a healthful diet, is essential to reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

ERSP determined that the evidence did not support the claims, in their advertised contexts, that “After age 50, dying from a HIP FRACTURE… is now the same risk as dying from BREAST CANCER” and “25% of patients die within a year of a hip fracture… .”

The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “The Institute for Better Bone Health appreciates the careful review undertaken by the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program and thanks ERSP for concluding that IBBH provided sufficient support for its general product performance claims and establishment claims at issue. IBBH supports ERSP, agrees to take ERSP’s recommendations into account in future advertising, and encourages others in the advertising industry to participate in the self-regulatory process.”