Biotivia resveratrol claims come under spotlight

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Resveratrol

New York-based Biotivia has been told to amend some claims being
made for its resveratrol supplements and ingredients after a
complaint was brought by a competitor.

But most of Biotivia's print, online and labeling claims were deemed to be "sufficiently supported"​ by the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (NAD). The fact most of Biotivia's claims have been upheld by NAD demonstrates how important it is for companies to ensure the claims they make are backed with appropriate science and other paperwork such as that relating to manufacturing processes. Californian start-up Resveratrol Partners, maker of a rival supplement called Longevinex, challenged a number of claims being made for Biotivia's Transmax product. Claims included:

  • Enhanced bioavailability

  • A short half life

  • Promotion of longevity enzymes

  • Entirely natural and GM-free

  • Preserved in nitrogen gas to ensure a unique 24-month active life

  • Manufactured in an FDA-certified plant

  • Processed in an oxygen and UV-free clean room

  • Used by researchers to test against resveratrol's effects against cancer, dementia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's diabetes and arterial disease

In response to the challenge, Biotivia voluntarily removed disease-related claims which NAD noted was "both appropriate and necessary". ​NAD told the firm it must discontinue claims that its products are processed in a plant that has been GMP-certified by the FDA. ​NAD noted there was a reasonable basis for the claim of a 24-month active life but told the company not to suggest this was unique to its product. The claim that Transmax was being used by universities outside the US was also deemed to be usable, as long as Biotivia disclosed the location of the universities. It also said Biotivia should more clearly disclose on the label the fact that the resveratrol source is the knotwood plant and not grapes which images of grapes on the label suggest. Biotivia said it was "more than willing to implement the suggested clarifications noted" in NAD's final decision." ​ NAD ruled in Biotivia's favor over the rest of the claims. It found that there was sufficient evidence to suggest its resveratrol ingredients had increased bioavailability compared to "standard resveratrol". ​This claim sated: "Our exclusive processing system results in up to a two times increase in availability of the critical isomer compared to trans-resveratrol sold by other suppliers. This technology was developed over the past 18 months by our scientists working in close collaboration with researchers at a major university." ​ In regard to the promotion of longevity enzymes, NAD said Biotivia's claims were permissible because it was clear that they related to resveratrol and not Transmax.

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