NAD refers immune claims case on to FTC

By Hank Schultz contact

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - serggn
©Getty Images - serggn

Related tags: Multivitamin, Immune health

The National Advertising Division has referred the case of a supplement manufacturer making what have been deemed to be unsubstantiated immune health claims on to the Federal Trade Commission for possible enforcement.

The product in question is called Optimmuner Plus, and is manufacturer by Hollywood, FL-based Hypernaturals LLC.  The product is a multivitamin and mineral formula that includes what is listed on the label as ‘enzymes.’

The company claims on its website to have gone through a 15-year research and development process on the formula, but only began selling the supplement online in 2018.

No substantive response from company

The claims the company was making were challenged by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.  NAD said Hypernaturals did not make a substantive response to the challenge. NAD said the company responded by denying it was actually making the cited claims while at the same time saying the statements are “accepted facts by the scientific community.”

On the Hypernaturals home page are numerous blog entries on subjects including immunotherapy for cancer.  The same blog entry includes a blurb at the bottom referring to the Optimmuner Plus product in which the company states it had “developed a great advance in natural immunotherapy dietary supplement.”

There has been a great deal of interest in immune support products in 2020 for obvious reasons. Some evidence has emerged on the importance of some vitamins, such as vitamin D, in immune support, but the evidence does not seem to support the breadth of the claims that Hypernaturals is making.

Evidence does not support claims on multivitamin product

The NAD ruled that the marketer had insufficient evidence to back the claims it was making.  Among the claims NAD recommended the company cease using were:

  • “REVOLUTIONARY IMMUNOTHERAPY SUPPLEMENT: OPTIMMUNER PLUS is a revolutionary advance in immunotherapy supplements that boosts the immune system, improving the health of people suffering from allergies, common infections or terminal diseases like cancer, maintaining optimal T-cell and natural killer cell activity. It also balances the immune system response in autoimmune cases. It is used in several cases worldwide, and now available online to everyone.”
  • “CLINICALLY & SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN: Research had shown that immunotherapy represents a Hope. ‘Nobel Prize for Medicine Goes to Cancer Immune Therapy Pioneers. Cancer immunotherapy is extremely effective for a substantial minority of patients, potentially adding years to their lives and even curing some people. The Nobel Committee said they are hopeful that combinations of these drugs and other therapies will allow more cancer patients to benefit with fewer side effects’ (Scientific American).”
  • “REAL HOPE: Based on a long list of successful experiences with fast and amazing results proven over the last 15 years, our supplements achieve effective ways to use the body’s own immune system against antigen attack. No interaction with prescribed treatments and any medication. High rate of customer repurchase verified.”
  • “Radical improvements during the first week.”

NAD said Hypernaturals failed to submit an advertiser’s statement to indicate that it would comply with NAD’s recommendations or appeal the matter to the National Advertising Review Board. In such cases, NAD refers the matter on to the FTC and FDA for further review.

Hypernaturals did not respond to a request for comment from NutraIngredients-USA​.

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