BBB National Programs Archive
NAD Recommends Interhealth Nutraceuticals Discontinue Certain Claims for Zychrome Supplements, Following Nutrition 21 Challenge
New York, NY – April 23, 2013 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that Interhealth Nutraceuticals, Inc., discontinue certain claims for the company’s Zychrome dietary supplements, products that are promoted for the management of insulin levels.
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Print and internet claims made by Interhealth for its Zychrome chromium compound, also known as chromium dinicocysteinate (CDNC), were challenged by Nutrition 21, LLC, the manufacturer of a competing product, Chromax, a chromium picolinate product.
Challenged claims included:
• “The only form of chromium clinically shown to be twice as effective as chromium picolinate for managing insulin levels.”
• “2x more effective than chromium picolinate in improving insulin function”
• “2x more effective than chromium picolinate in managing insulin resistance.”
• “Clinically studied to be twice as effective as chromium picolinate for maintaining healthy insulin function.”
• “Better manage glycemic parameters.”
• “Manage metabolic health more effectively.”
• “The most effective chromium to date.”
• “More effective than other chromium compounds for modulating glycemic parameters.”
• “Replace chromium picolinate with Zychrome to formulate more effective products for metabolic health.”
• “Zychrome outperformed chromium picolinate on multiple key parameters tested.”
• “Next Generation Chromium Complex”
• “88% of diabetic educators prefer Zychrome over chromium picolinate for insulin management and over 70% would recommend Zychrome for insulin management over chromium picolinate.”
In this case, the advertiser’s primary source of claims support was a single preliminary study, in which differences between the Chromax and Zychrome groups did not reach statistical significance for any variable measured. The advertiser, NAD noted, did not rely on head-to-head test results to support its comparative efficacy claims.
Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue all claims at issue, with one exception: CDNC is a new form of chromium compound, a fact that the advertiser is free to promote.
However, NAD recommended that the advertiser modify its “next generation” claims to avoid conveying the message that Zychrome is superior is chromium picolinate.
NAD further recommended that the advertiser discontinue its claims that “88% of diabetic educators prefer Zychrome over chromium picolinate for insulin management and over 70% would recommend Zychrome for insulin management over chromium picolinate if available on the market” because the survey offered to support the claim was not sufficiently reliable to support a “diabetes educator” claim.
Finally, NAD noted that recommendations to discontinue certain claims apply to any medium in which the claims appear, including broadcast, print or Internet advertising, trade show publications and business-to-business advertising.
InterHealth Nutraceuticals, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “will modify advertising for Zychrome in accordance with the NAD’s recommendations.”