BBB National Programs Archive
NAD Recommends Metabolic Research Modify, Discontinue Claims for ‘Stemulite’
New York, New York – March 3, 2010 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that Metabolic Research, Inc., discontinue certain claims made for the company’s “Stemulite” dietary supplement.
NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, initially requested substantiation in 2009 for certain advertising made by Metabolic Research for the product. The company declined to provide a substantive response at that time. The advertising at issue was referred to the Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration; the advertiser then notified NAD that it would participate in a self-regulatory review. NAD re-opened its case.
At the outset, the advertiser asserted that it had discontinued certain claims at issue in NAD’s initial inquiry, including all weight-loss claims.
NAD then considered several other claims made in print, on product packaging and in testimonials, including:
- “People who take Stemulite Experience:
- Deep REM Sleep
- Increased Muscle Gain and Endurance
- Increased Wellness and Energy”
- “Achieve Peak Athletic Performance Naturally with Stemulite all-natural Fitness Formula”
- “The Stemulite Combination Promotes Increased, Strength, Muscle, Energy, Deep Sleep, Endurance, Recovery Speed”
- “Within Two Days of Using Stemulite, I Slept Great!”
- “I Have Noticed A Tremendous Energy Boost.”
- “Using Stemulite, I Have Seen Results in 2-3 Weeks.”
- “In Three Days, Suddenly My Sleep Was Fantastic.”
- “I Am Getting Eight Hours of Restful Sleep, It’s A Miracle”
- “In Just 5 Days, My Endurance Has Increased 25%”
NAD examined evidence that included a small study on Stemulite, studies on some of the product’s ingredients and an ongoing study of the product that is now underway at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Following its review, NAD determined that the advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance of all of its weight loss claims, as well as claims that Stemulite supplementation will result in a “20% increase in strength” and a “… 25% increases in strength within a week,” and the claim that “The Stemulite combination of mitochondrial energizers, free radical scavengers, amino acid ‘stackers,’ immune stimulators, stem-cell recruiters, inflammatory down-regulators, rest and sleep enhancers, and a rare earth mineral that produces mood elevation and HPA synchronizing of all hormonal functions is without doubt the most complete and effective workout and fitness supplement available in the world!” to be necessary and proper.
NAD further found that there was insufficient evidence in the record to support the remaining claims and testimonials regarding improvements or increases in sleep, muscle, endurance and wellness and energy, and recommended that they be discontinued.
The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said that it believes “the remaining claims, on a component by component basis, are supported by existing data … .”
However, the company noted, “We have retained counsel to further review our materials on an ongoing basis and have every intention on being compliant in all respects.”