BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Recommends VH Nutrition Discontinue Advertising Claims for TriDrive Supplement

New York, NY – July 2, 2018 – The National Advertising Division has recommended VH Nutrition, LLC discontinue certain advertising claims for the company’s TriDrive dietary supplement, a product promoted to triathletes through internet advertising.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. As part of an ongoing initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition, NAD requested that VH Nutrition provide substantiation for advertising claims that included:

  • “TriDrive is a triathlon supplement that helps to give a Vo2 Max boost. It is uses a complex formula of adaptogen supplements that help boost endurance, improve circulation, and support the respiratory system.”

The advertiser maintained that TriDrive supplements – formulated in part with cordyceps,    ashwaganda, eurycoma longfolia and rhodiola rosea – with will help triathletes recover from training sessions, improve circulation, support the respiratory system, decrease cortisol production, boost VO2Max, improve stamina, and improve joint and muscle recovery.

As NAD noted in its decision, the claims at issue in this case are health-related claims that must be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.  Generally, NAD noted, such evidence consists of human clinical trials that are methodologically sound and statistically significant to the 95% confidence level with results that translate into meaningful benefits for consumers that relate directly to the performance attributes promised by advertising.

The advertiser did not submit testing on the TriDrive product itself, but instead relied on evidence that studied the efficacy of the ingredients in TriDrive.  NAD noted in its decision that it is “well-established that when there is substantiation only for the efficacy of ingredients in a product, but not for the product itself, any claims must be clearly expressed as ingredient claims.”

NAD then examined whether the advertiser’s evidence was sufficient to support carefully tailored ingredient claims, noting that while advertisers may make properly qualified claims based on ingredients in their supplements, those ingredients must be present in their products in the same amount, formulation and route of administration as the underlying ingredient studies. The ingredient studies, NAD noted, must also be of sufficient quality to be competent and reliable scientific evidence and, also, relate directly to the claims promised by the advertising.

In this case, the studies presented did not reflect the formulation of TriDrive.

NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its health-related performance claims regarding TriDrive supplement as a whole and recommended the advertiser discontinue the following claims:

  • “TriDrive is a triathlon supplement that helps to give a Vo2 Max boost. It is uses a complex formula of adaptogen supplements that help boost endurance, improve circulation, and support the respiratory system.”
  • As an adaptogen it “works slowly with your body over time to give you access to faster recovery and improved stamina.”
  • “TriDrive is a support to cycling nutrition as well by helping your body process nutrients faster and overcome stress quicker. It is also one of the best runner supplements that helps to ease joint stress by improving recovery time for your muscles.”
  • “Boost VO2Max”
  • “Improve Stamina”
  • “Decrease Cortisol Production”
  • “Endurance Recovery”
  • “TriDrive help improve oxygen flow with the body during exercise.”
  • “Overcome stress quicker.”

NAD noted that nothing in its decision prevents the advertiser from making truthful and accurate claims regarding the traditional use of the ingredients in TriDrive.

VH Nutrition, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “agrees to comply with NAD’s recommendations.  VH Nutrition stands by its product and disagrees with some of NAD’s determinations; however, for business purposes, TriDrive is no longer being sold.  While there are no plans to sell TriDrive in the future, should that happen, we would continue to comply with NAD’s recommendations.”

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.