BBB National Programs Archive
NAD Recommends Pharmapro Discontinue Wide Range of Claims for ‘Sterodol,’ Promoted as ‘Legal’ Alternative to Steroids
New York, NY – Aug. 1, 2012 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that Pharmapro, Inc., discontinue a wide range of advertising claims for the dietary supplement Sterodrol , including claims that the product is the “most powerful size and strength gaining compound available,” and a legal alternative to anabolic steroids.
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. As a part of its ongoing monitoring program and in conjunction with NAD’s initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition designed to expand review of advertising claims for dietary supplements, NAD requested the advertiser provide substantiation for claims made in Internet advertising.
In the case, the challenger questioned whether the advertiser’s testing was adequate to support strong performance claims and raised additional concerns regarding claims that made repeated references and comparisons to anabolic steroids. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) currently lists anabolic steroids as controlled substances, making the possession of such substances without a prescription punishable by up to seven years in prison.
The advertiser explained that Sterodrol is a dietary supplement that contains six plant-based ingredients: tribulus alatus del, physalis somnifera, reynoutria japaonica, hebanthe paniculata, urtica galeopsifilia and piper nigrum, and argued that a review of the scientific literature demonstrated that all of the ingredients have historical and current uses as therapeutic agents. As support for its claims, the advertiser submitted third-party articles and testing on Sterodrol’ s ingredients.
None of the ingredients, the advertiser noted, are federally controlled, Schedule III anabolic steroids. With regard to its claim “Sterodrol is legally sold in the U.S. as a dietary supplement. When a product conclusively increases anabolic/androgenic activity, it is only a matter of time before it gets banned from the market,” the advertiser maintained that it directed the claim to consumers who had previously purchased other products that, though effective, had been banned or removed from the marketplace. The advertiser maintained that it had a First Amendment right to express this opinion.
Further, the advertiser argued that the claims “[a]fter just one cycle, most users agree that STERODROL is THE MOST POWERFUL SIZE AND STRENGTH GAINING COMPOUND AVAILABLE” and “[b]y the end of week 4, there will be no doubt in your mind (or anyone else’s for that matter) that you’ve just completed a cycle of one the most powerful mass building compounds ever produced” are puffery.
Following its review of the advertiser’s evidence, NAD determined that Pharmapro provided a reasonable basis for the claim “Sterodrol is our new flagship and represents the next generation of Pharmapro Anabolics.”
NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue all other claims at issue in its inquiry, including:
- “Taking Sterodrol for many can result in a change in Mass, Strength and Recovery Time.”
- “Into week 2 of taking Sterodrol and staying true to your diet and exercise regimen you should begin to see your muscles becoming larger and harder and feeling stronger.”
- “By the end of week 4, there will be no doubt in your mind (or anyone else’s for that matter) that you’ve just completed a cycle of one the most powerful mass building compounds ever produced.”
- “The Most Powerful Legal Steroid Alternative……This Is The Real Deal
- Rock Solid Mass
- Muscle Volume & Density
- Muscular Endurance
- Dramatic Strength Increases
- Inhibits Estrogen
- Enhanced Sex Drive”
- “…what we’ve done with Sterodrol is combined several powerful ingredients into one product to attain that same level of exponential growth. The key is (and this is of the utmost importance) the right compounds must be used and in a quantity sufficient enough to evoke an anabolic response.”
- “Many people are familiar with Tribulus Terrestris (T. Terrestris) which has been used in sport supplementation for several years. While Tribulus Terrestris is still popular, most users have had mixed results. There are more than 50 species of Tribulus plants, the one that holds the most promise to enhance muscular performance is Tribulus Alatus (T Alatus Del). Commonly found in Africa and Asia, a recent international study confirms that T Alatus Del can support significant increases in free testosterone. This ability for T Alatus Del to have a profound effect on free testosterone truly is a ground breaking discovery – especially for those that use it in conjunction with their diet and training regime.”
- “Sterodrol delivers a whopping 1000mgs. per day of T. Alatus. Pharmapro is proud to say that we are among the first to bring T Alatus Del to our customers at the highest concentrations.”
- “Sterodrol uses an extract that is specifically standardized for a 2.5% concentration of withanolides for maximum anabolic activity to increase Muscle Protein Synthesis for Maximum Muscle Size, Density & Strength.”
- “We have found that the standardized extract of Reynoutria Japonica works in synergy with other ingredients to help you attain freaky size.”
- “Hebanthe Paniculata is an adaptogen from South America. We’ve added it to the Sterodrol formula as it is known for its ability to accelerate recovery and support maximum endurance.”
- “Urtica galeopsifoliais an adaptogen from South America and contains a 3,4 divanillytetrahydrofuran; a lignin which will help the structure and function of the body to increase your own free testosterone.”
- “Maxsorption™ is a concentrated extract of piper nigrum that is clinically proven to enhance absorption during digestion. Maxsorption will aid the absorption of the powerful Sterodrol formula to assure you will achieve maximum perofrmance.”
- “Sterodrol is legally sold in the U.S. as a dietary supplement. When a product conclusively increases anabolic/androgenic activity, it is only a matter of time before it gets banned from the market.”
The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it “fully and completely cooperated and participated in this process. All requests by NAD were responded to and honored in an appropriate and timely fashion. As part of this process Pharmapro has and will continue to make significant changes to its advertising including discontinuation of performance claims, some of which have already been removed from publication.”