BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Recommends ADD-Care Discontinue Claims for Supplement Promoted for ‘Help’ with ADD, ADHD Symptoms

New York, NY – Dec. 3,  2014 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that ADD-care, the maker of the dietary supplement ADD-care, discontinue all claims for the product reviewed by NAD in a recent proceeding.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Advertising claims made by ADD-care on product labels and the company’s website were challenged by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

ADD-care is a dietary supplement comprised of 335 mg of L-tyrosine, 165 mg of GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric Acid) and a proprietary homeopathic blend.   The advertiser claims that it “may help people with symptoms consistent with ADD and ADHD.”

ADD-care’s website included claims that the dietary supplement may relieve symptoms including, impulsiveness, inattention, forgetfulness, trouble listening and concentrating, difficulty being organized, and anxiety, and may improve focus, clarity and alertness “without negative side effects.”

The site included links to testimonials where individuals claimed that ADD-care was used successfully as a substitute for conventional ADD medications, as well as a series of brain scan images comparing the effectiveness of subjects supplemented with ADD-care and taking prescription drug treatments.

While certain claims were voluntarily revised by the advertiser upon receipt of NAD’s opening letter, the advertiser contended that its remaining claims were truthful and accurate statements about the ADD-care products.

The advertiser said its claims were based on research done at the Amen Clinic, which has done 20 years of research on SPECT brain imaging scans, and involved four subjects who each took one dose of ADD-care and then took a standardized test that measured impulsivity.

Following its review of the advertiser’s evidence, NAD determined that brain scan imaging and impulsivity test results on four subjects, without a placebo group against which to measure changes in the brain and test results, is equivalent to anecdotal evidence.

Further, NAD found that the testing and SPECT imaging of a small population on a single day, after a single dosage of ADD-Care stimulant was not sufficient to detect the effect, if any, ADD-care might have on focus or attention, nor was there any evidence that the study’s outcomes achieved statistical significance as against a placebo.

NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue all revised express claims and testimonials, including:

  • “ADD-care may add focus, clarity, and alertness without negative side effects.”
  • “ADD-care is a natural supplement that may help with symptoms often seen with ADD and ADHD and other mental health problems.”
  • “ADD-care is a safe, non-addictive, natural supplement containing natural and homeopathic ingredients that have been tested and especially selected and may help to relieve hyperactivity, distractibility, impulsiveness and general memory difficulties in both children and adults.”
  • “ADD-care may offer natural supplement relief safely and quickly.”
  • “ADD-care products are especially formulated, and some customers have reported feeling natural relief for symptoms similar or consistent with ADD/ADHD :
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsiveness
  • Inattention
  • Forgetfulness
  • Trouble Listening and Concentrating
  • Difficulty Being Organized
  • Anxiety
  • “In this particular scan, the ADD-care supplement seemed to indicate overall performed 25% as well as the stimulant with the cerebellum, and was 100% better with the cingulate system, 90% better with the basal ganglia, and 75% better with the limbic system.”
  • “During each scan the Connors ADD test was administered … During the first scan the patient missed 9 items and on the last two scans the patient  missed 0 items, so ADD-care matched the popular stimulant on performance.”
  • “With ADD-care the basal ganglia and cingulate systems appear to have cleared dramatically and the limbic system has been reduced by at least 85-90%. This is why many people report feeling calm as well as focused on the ADD-care® supplement.”
  • “The ADD-care supplement seemed to perform 100% better on these internal scans.”
  • “In this particular scan ADD-care was at least 20-25% more effective in the prefrontal cortex area.”
  • “The second deep scan with the ADD-care supplement appeared to show a huge improvement in the cerebellum which suggests increased dopamine. The basal ganglia on the left hand side of the image appeared to be reduced by 60% and the one on the left hand side reduced by 75%. The limbic system showed an increase of 50%.”

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said the while it believes “it has adequate substantiation and extensive research for its modest claims, ADD‐care, LLC will take into consideration NAD’s decision as it reviews current and future advertising and labeling for the product.”