BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Finds Abbott Can Support Claims Made for Ensure Muscle Health

New York, New York – May 9, 2011– The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Abbott can support advertising claims made for the company’s Ensure Muscle Health product.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed advertising for the product in conjunction with an initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) designed to expand NAD’s review of advertising claims for dietary supplements and supplemented food products.

 NAD requested substantiation for claims made in broadcast, print and Internet advertising and product labeling, including:  

  •  “New scientific advances have led to a breakthrough in the fight against muscle loss.  New Ensure Muscle Health.”
  • “New Ensure Muscle Health has Revigor, the amino acid metabolite HMB, and protein to help rebuild muscle and strength naturally lost over time.”
  • “Protects muscles by strengthening the muscle cell wall.”
  • “Preserves muscle tissue by slowing the breakdown of protein.”
  • “Promotes muscle growth by increasing protein synthesis to help your body produce more muscle.”
  • “New Ensure Muscle Health has Revigor and protein to help protect, preserve and promote muscle health.”
  • “Rebuild muscle, regain strength with New Ensure Muscle Health.”

 The advertised product, Ensure Muscle Health is a line extension of Abbott’s Ensure products, augmented with a patented ingredient called Revigor, a form of HMB (a metabolite of the amino acid leucine) along with 40 percent more high-quality protein, and 60 percent more Vitamin D than traditional Ensure.

The advertiser presented, in support of its claims, a wide range of scientific studies, including studies that evaluated the effect of HMB on older adults, the target audience for Ensure advertising. Following its review of the evidence, NAD found that the research indicated that HMB provided a muscle-health benefit to various populations, including elderly adults with or without exercise, young adults and patients with muscle-wasting conditions.

  NAD found that the clinical research, coupled with in vitro research on HMB, provided a reasonable basis for mechanism of action claims that detailed how the product worked. Finally, NAD found that the evidence supported a claim that Ensure Muscle Health is a “breakthrough.”

 The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it thanked “NAD for its diligent work on this matter and will continue to strongly support the self-regulatory process.”