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Supplements maker rapped over CoQ10 claims

By Shane Starling , 25-Jan-2010
Last updated on 26-Jan-2010 at 09:37 GMT

The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (NAD) has told a CoQ10 supplements manufacturer to alter its marketing including a claim that the supplement in question could be 600 percent more effective than standard powders.

Other claims NAD, a self-regulatory group whose advisories are not binding, took issue with included reference to clinical trials and suggestions that increased absorption equaled increased effectiveness.

“…the advertiser could support claims that clearly state the position that greater absorption of Qunol products may result in improved effectiveness, because in order to have any effectiveness, CoQ10 must first be adequately absorbed into the body,” NAD said in a summary of its findings that highlighted the importance of the qualifying auxillary verbs.

The company in question – California-based Quten Research Institute – said it was complying with most of NAD’s suggestions but was appealing its right to make the 600 per cent claim with the National Advertising Review Board for the product, Qunol.

It said it had already discontinued a number of health claims including:

  • “Taking Qunol reduces both systolic & diastolic pressure by 10% over an 8 week period. This reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and dementia.”
  • “Qunol reduces the fasting blood glucose levels by 33%. This shows that Qunol is able to reduce insulin resistance problems by improving the uptake of blood glucose in to the cells by 33%.”
  • “Qunol may be beneficial in preventing Type 2 diabetes.”
  • Improve hypertension
  • Provide antioxidant protection
  • Combat degenerative diseases such as cancer, catarcts and aging
  • Boost immunity
  • Correct gingivitis and inflamed and swollen gums
  • Benefit chemotherapy patients
  • Combat degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Speed metabolism
  • Reduce migraine frequency and duration

Quten Research Institute said it had ceased to make a “doctor recommended” claim.

NAD said another change the company made, altering a “clinically proven” claim to, “the hydrosoluble CoQ10 in Qunol softgels has been used in several clinical studies,” was not adequate because it implied the specific product was backed by clinical trials when it is not.

The claim that the products were 300 percent more absorbable was supported by NAD, as long as it was clear that the claim made a comparison between Qunol and regular CoQ10 powders.

Quten Research Institute said it would take this advice into account in future advertising.

The company was not available for further comment at the time of publication, nor was NAD.

CoQ10, or ubiquinone, has properties similar to vitamins, but since it is naturally synthesized in the body it is not classed as such.

The coenzyme is concentrated in the mitochondria - the 'power plants' of the cell - and plays a vital role in the production of chemical energy by participating in the production of adenosince triphosphate (ATP), the body's co-called 'energy currency'.

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