BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Recommends Institute for Vibrant Living Discontinue Joint-Pain Claims for ‘Alleviate’ Supplement

New York, NY – June 25, 2015  – The National Advertising Division has recommended that the Institute for Vibrant Living discontinue a wide range of express claims and testimonials for the company’s Alleviate dietary supplements.

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

The claims at issue were challenged by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). CRN files challenges with the NAD regarding advertising of dietary supplements in an effort to encourage manufacturers to provide substantiation for their advertising claims to an objective third party for review and evaluation.

The advertiser argued that all of its claims were supported by competent and reliable competent evidence in the form of randomized, placebo-controlled human trials, in vitro and animal studies on the ingredients in Alleviate dietary supplements.  The challenger maintained that many of the ingredient studies submitted by the advertiser fail to match the dosage, formulation and administrative route of the ingredients found in alleviate.

Alleviate is formulated with white willow bark extract, Boswellia serrata gum extract, ginger root powder, hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C. During the course of NAD’s review, the advertiser voluntarily committed to discontinue certain claims, a decision NAD found to be necessary and appropriate.

The remaining challenged claims promoted the efficacy of Alleviate in relieving joint pain and improving joint function and cardiovascular health and the product’s anti-aging and anti-oxidant properties.  Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD determined that the advertiser had established a reasonable basis for its claim “You also get an ancient herbal medicine that’s been proven by recent research,” if used in the context that the ingredients in Alleviate may relieve pain in the knee and back caused by inflammation. NAD also found that the advertiser could support a claim that the Vitamin C in Alleviate supports “antioxidant protection against free radical damage.”

NAD recommended the advertiser modify or discontinue all other challenged claims.

IVL, in its advertiser’s statement, thanked NAD “for the time it has spent in reviewing the issues presented in this challenge.  IVL appreciates the NAD’s input and will consider the NAD’s recommendations when developing future advertising for this product.”