NAD Finds Brain Research can Support Certain Claims for ‘Procera AVH,’ but Recommends Company Discontinue Certain Claims

New York, New York – Sept. 14,  2009 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Brain Research Labs can support certain advertising claims for the dietary supplement “Procera AVH,” including claims made in testimonials.” NAD recommended, however, that certain claims be discontinued.

NAD is the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum. Through NAD’s ongoing monitoring program and in conjunction with its initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition  designed to expand NAD’s review of advertising claims for dietary supplements, NAD had requested substantiation for claims made in print and Internet advertising, including: 

  • “First University-Validated Mood, Memory & Cognitive Enhancer with Double Proof of Efficacy”
  • “Procera AVH is a unique, doctor developed, patent pending, proprietary formula of natural ingredients – proven by one of the world’s premier brain research centers to energize the brain, uplift mood, improve memory, and sharpen the mind.”
  • “Procera AVH was even shown to increase IQ test scores.”
  • “Procera AVH was shown to improve (at a significant, .05 or better, or near significant level, .09 or better) a broad range of mind, memory and mood categories including:
    • Working Memory (used in decision making & problem solving)
    • Memory (accuracy & speed of learning & recalling information)
    • Focus & Concentration
    • Mood (increased feelings of well being, decreased feelings of anxiety, anger, depression)
    • Mental clarity & Vigor (mental energy)
    • IQ (Ravens Progressive Matrices IQ test; improved general problem solving, reasoning, visual working memory)
  • “Clinically shown to restore the memory and brain power you had 10-15 years ago”
  • “New pill sharpens focus, clears away brain fog,…”
  • “Brain Oxygen-Boosting Miracle Energizes Mind, Mood and Memory”
  • “It’s a fast-acting formula…”

In addition, NAD expressed a concern over the use in the advertising of Brain Scan “before” and “after” pictures, accompanied by the claim, “Brain Scan Proof of ‘Immediate’ Energy Boosting Effect,” and “The PET Scan brain image on the right is an illustration of the dramatic increase in brain blood flow and metabolic activity (brain energy) within just one hour after taking Vinpocetin, a key ingredient in Procera AVH.”

NAD also requested support for a chart comparing Procera AVH with Focus Factor, Juvenon, MemoProve, Lucidal and Ginko, that appears on the advertiser’s website.

Finally, NAD raised concerns about the statements made in some of the testimonials for the product.

The advertiser noted, by way of background, that the Procera product was formulated following research and clinical trials on dozens of putative cognitive and/or mood enhancers. That research yielded a proprietary, patent-pending formula of therapeutic amounts of three ingredients, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Vinpocetine and Huperzine A.

NAD examined evidence that included the results of a 30-day, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial on Procera. Overall, NAD found that the advertiser’s published study provided a reasonable basis for the claims that Procera is the “First University-Validated Mood, Memory & Cognitive Enhancer” and that “Procera AVH is a unique, doctor developed, patent pending, proprietary formula of natural ingredients – proven by one of the world’s premier brain research centers to energize the brain, uplift mood, improve memory, and sharpen the mind.”

NAD determined that the Procera study provided a reasonable basis claims that Procera AVH was shown to improve a broad range of mind, memory and mood categories. Further, based on the results of the study, NAD concluded that there was support for the claim that a “New pill sharpens focus, clears away brain fog … ,” as well as a limited, modified claim that the product has been clinically shown to “restore the speed of memory recall you had 10-15 years ago.”

NAD determined, as well, that the advertiser’s testimonials were supported by the results of its study on Procera.

However, NAD recommended that advertiser discontinue claims of improved “mental vigor and energy,” and claims that suggest the product works fast or immediately.

NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its claim of “Double Proof of Efficacy,” since it relied on a single study for substantiation, and the claim that Procera is a “Brain Oxygen-Boosting Miracle Energizes Mind, Mood and Memory,” which NAD determined overstated the results of the research.

Further, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the Brain Scan “before” and “after” pictures, and the accompanying claims, as well as the comparative chart, featured at the advertiser’s Website, which compares Procera AVH with Focus Factor, Juvenon, MemoProve, Lucidal and Ginko.

NAD noted in its decision that the advertiser voluntarily discontinued claims of improved IQ and claims regarding a reduction of anxiety.

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, noted that while it did not agree with the entirety of NAD’s decision, it respects the self-regulatory process and will take the NAD’s findings into account in the future.