NAD Recommends Cover Three Discontinue Claims that Brain Defense Dietary Supplement has a Positive Impact on Traumatic Brain Injuries

For Immediate Release 
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs 

703.247.9330 / 

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.” 


About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit 

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.     

Latest News

Press Release

BBB National Programs National Advertising Division Launches Expedited Fast-Track SWIFT Lane Designed to Address Misleading Advertising Disclosures

New York, NY – November 9, 2021 – Mindful of recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) actions, BBB National Programs today announced a new, streamlined lane of the expedited Fast-Track SWIFT challenge submission process, one designed specifically to address the prominence and sufficiency of...

Read the Release
Press Release

Media Advisory: FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter to Keynote National Advertising Division “Future of Ad Law” 2021 Annual Conference

New York, NY – September 21, 2021 – In its 50th anniversary year, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs will host the NAD 2021 Annual Conference virtually next week, running Wednesday, September 29 through Friday, October 1. Members of the media are invited to cover NAD 2021 with...

Read More
Press Release

Children’s Advertising Review Unit Issues Revised Guidelines for Responsible Advertising to Children, Effective January 1, 2022

McLean, VA – July 29, 2021 – BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) today announced the issuance of the revised CARU Advertising Guidelines, widely recognized industry standards to assure that advertising directed to children is not deceptive, unfair, or inappropriate for its intended...

Read the Press Release
Press Release

U.S.-Based BBB National Programs Announced as Winner for “Best Sectoral Initiative” by International Council of Advertising Self-Regulation

On 15 June 2021, the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS) announced the winners of its second edition of the ICAS Global Awards. The objective of the ICAS Awards is to reward initiatives that contribute to responsible marketing practices and a more effective and impactful...

Read the Press Release