National Advertising Division Recommends Discontinuation or Modification of Certain Health Benefit Claims for Memory Health Dietary Supplement
Aug 28, 2023
New York, NY – August 28, 2023 – In a challenge brought by Vision Elements, Inc., the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that in connection with its Memory Health dietary supplement, Memory Health, LP discontinue:
- Certain claims which reasonably convey that the product is effective in treating symptoms associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- An unsupported claim that consumption of the product is a form of Alzheimer’s disease prevention.
- Two implied safety claims.
NAD also recommended Memory Health modify certain claims about its product patents, removing reference to the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Vision Elements challenged a number of health benefit claims, including clinically proven improvements in memory, mood, focus, clarity, cognitive function, and mental health in both diseased and healthy human brains. NAD noted that such claims require substantiation in the form of competent and reliable scientific evidence on the product as it is marketed to consumers.
NAD determined that Memory Health’s studies and reviews do not provide a reasonable basis for the health benefits message conveyed by the challenged claims. NAD further concluded that the studies’ results are not a good fit for the claims and that they overstate the scientific evidence on which they are based.
NAD also determined that the challenged claims convey a message to consumers that the Memory Health product is effective in treating symptoms associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, a message that is not supported.
For these reasons, NAD recommended that the challenged claims be discontinued.
NAD examined whether certain claims referencing patents, such as Memory Health is “the first supplement to receive a patent for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease, specifically Alzheimer’s and dementia,” convey a misleading message.
NAD found that many consumers may reasonably interpret these patent claims to mean that Memory Health received a patent based on a federal agency’s determination of its effectiveness in treating and preventing neurodegenerative diseases—a message that is not supported.
Therefore, NAD recommended that Memory Health modify the claims to remove reference to the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, to avoid conveying a message that the Memory Health supplement has been approved by regulatory authorities (such as the FDA) as effective in treating and preventing neurodegenerative disease.
Strong Believers Claim
NAD found that, in context, consumers may reasonably understand the statement “At Memory Health we are strong believers in nutritional supplementation as a form of prevention, especially if Alzheimer’s Disease runs in your family” as a claim that Memory Health consumption is a form of Alzheimer’s disease prevention. In the absence of competent and reliable scientific evidence to support the claim, NAD recommended that it be discontinued.
NAD recommended that Memory Health discontinue the claims “A safe, natural supplement” and “No side effects” because Memory Health did not provide adequate support.
During the proceeding Memory Health agreed to permanently discontinue many other challenged claims. Therefore, NAD did not review these claims on the merits.
In its advertiser statement, Memory Health stated that it “believes that the challenged claims are thoroughly supported” by scientific studies and although it “strongly disagrees with the factual conclusions reached in the Final Decision, Memory Health respects the NAD’s decision and will comply with the NAD’s recommendations.”
All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.
This press release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) 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.
Name: Jennie Rosenberg
Job Title: Media Relations
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