NAD Recommends Cover Three Discontinue Claims that Brain Defense Dietary Supplement has a Positive Impact on Traumatic Brain Injuries
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs
703.247.9330 / email@example.com
New York, NY – September 29, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that Cover Three discontinue claims for its Brain Defense dietary supplement that:
- The Brain Defense product itself provides certain health-related benefits;
- Brain Defense has a positive impact on traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- The ingredients in Brain Defense improve cognition and memory; and
- Brain Defense “boosts physical performance.”
NAD also recommended that the advertiser discontinue the testimonial “as a mother of a newborn I want to make sure my baby gets the nutrients needed to grow a beautiful brain. I love this Dr. formulated product.”
The claims were challenged by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).
In the absence of any product testing to support the challenged product performance claims, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue claims that the product itself confers the claimed benefits. NAD considered whether the evidence on individual ingredients found in Brain Defense could support qualified claims as to the promised benefits, reviewing clinical studies and review articles on three ingredients found in Brain Defense submitted by the advertiser – (1) Omega-3 fatty acids, (2) resveratrol, and (3) curcumin.
With regard to whether Brain Defense protects against or reduces the impact of TBIs, NAD appreciated that during the course of the proceeding the advertiser elected to permanently discontinue and modify many of the challenged claims and testimonials to avoid referring to TBIs. However, NAD remained concerned about certain modified claims and the context in which they appear, including:
- “Defend your brain. Before, during, or after the season,” accompanied by a picture of a child wearing a football uniform; and
- “Return: Issues do not have to define you. Regenerate the past,” accompanied by a picture of a solider in uniform.
NAD determined that the advertiser’s evidence did not support a qualified claim that DHA will protect against TBIs, such as concussions, and recommended that the claims be discontinued. NAD also recommended that the advertiser discontinue all references and images relating to TBIs on the “Our Story” portion of its website.
NAD further determined that the evidence in the record was not sufficiently reliable or a good fit to support qualified claims regarding the ability of any of the ingredients in Brain Defense to improve cognition and memory.
NAD also recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim “boosts physical performance” because Cover Three’s only study on physical performance did not assess whether DHA improved physical performance and was therefore insufficient to support a qualified claim that DHA can boost physical performance.
Finally, NAD recommended discontinuance of the testimonial “as a mother of a newborn I want to make sure my baby gets the nutrients needed to grow a beautiful brain. I love this Dr. formulated product.” NAD noted that the advertiser did not provide any evidence demonstrating the cognitive or memory benefits of Brain Defense or its ingredients in the general population (i.e. mothers), let alone that any benefits are conferred to infants, either by direct supplementation or from supplementing nursing mothers for the benefit of an infant.
In its advertiser’s statement, Cover Three agreed to comply with NAD’s recommendation. Cover Three further stated, “we look forward to future research on our ingredients and how they relate to brain health. As the medical community’s understanding about the brain grows, we hope to see it utilize and integrate the emerging understanding of nutrition science.”
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About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.
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