NAD Finds Quten Can Support Certain Claims For Qunol CoQ10, But Recommends Company Modify, Discontinue Certain Claims

New York, New York – Jan. 20, 2009 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Quten Research Institute can support certain claims made for its Qunol dietary supplement. However, NAD recommended the company modify certain claims. NAD noted, as well, that the company asserted it would permanently discontinue certain claims, which NAD found necessary and appropriate.

The company has said it will appeal a portion of NAD’s decision to the National Advertising Review Board.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined print and Internet advertising for Qunol CoQ10, following a challenge by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

Claims at issue included:

  • “300% more absorbable and effective.” “Bioavailability studies, which test the absorbability of a substance in the bloodstream and several dissolution and cell-culture studies have shown Qunol CoQ10 to be 300% more absorbable and 300% more effective than other CoQ10 oral supplements on the market today.”
  • “Up to 6X better absorption than regular CoQ10.”
  • “100 mg Qunol Liquid CoQ10 = up to 600 mg regular CoQ10.”
  • “Clinically Proven”
  • “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.”
  • “Medically Proven Efficacy” [heading] “improve hypertension – essential hypertension and isolated systolic hypertension” [sub-heading]
  • “Qunol Ultra Co Q10 up to 300 times more effective” [heading] “CoQ10 health benefits” [subheading] ; “antioxidant protection” [“It is estimated that free radicals are responsible for up to 80% of our degenerative diseases – Cancer, Cataract & Early Aging.”], “heart health” , “blood pressure”, ‘immune health”, [“Studies conducted on HIV/AIDS patients indicated improvement in immune health with CoQ10 supplementation”], “blood sugar”, “extends youth” [“Taken regularly CoQ10 fights the aging process as it contributes to greater health and longevity”], “periodontal disease” [“Another amazing contribution of CoQ10 is in preventing or correcting gingivitis, inflamed and swollen gums”], “cancer” [“Observational studies of women diagnosed with Breast Cancer have reported reduced blood CoQ10 level, while studies indicate remission or partial remission in patients with tumors who take CoQ10”; “CoQ10 should definitely be used by cancer patients after taking any chemotherapy drug associated with heart toxicity.”], “loss of brain function” [“it might play an important role in preventing degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s & ALS.”; “It may also prevent gradual loss of memory and reduced brain function that is often considered “normal” to aging”], “weight loss”[“CoQ10 is shown to speed up metabolism and contribute to weight loss”,”100mg/day of CoQ10 was shown to produce significant weight loss.”], and “migraine headache” [“CoQ10 reduces both the frequency and the duration of migraine attacks.”] The implied claims of this page of the Qunol CoQ10 website are of particular concern. Available at:  http://www.qunol.com/CoQ10HealthBenefits.aspx
  • “Qunol- Master Antioxidant” [heading]; “Free radicals can cause irreparable cell damage – linked to a range of disorders such as Cancer, Arthritis, Atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Diabetes.”
  • “CoQ10 deficiency has shown to be present in some patients with high blood pressure.”
  • “CoQ10 is not a specific high blood pressure supplement. Rather, it seems to correct some metabolic abnormality that in turn has a favorable influence on the blood pressure.” 
  • “Doctor recommended CoQ10 formula”

Upon receipt of NAD’s inquiry, the advertiser asserted that it had voluntarily discontinued several of the claims at issue. Specifically, the advertiser stated that it discontinued all of its health claims, including claims about the product’s ability to lower blood pressure, claims that the product reduces the risk of “heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and dementia,” and the claims “Medically Proven Efficacy,” and “Qunol reduces fasting blood glucose levels by 33%.”

In addition, the advertiser represented that it permanently discontinued its “Doctor Recommended CoQ10 Formula” claim. The advertiser also stated that it had modified its claim “Clinically Proven,” to read, “The hydrosoluble CoQ10 in Qunol softgels has been used in several clinical studies.”

NAD found the advertiser’s discontinuance of its health claims and its “doctor recommended claim” to be necessary and proper.

NAD noted that the advertiser had modified its “Clinically Proven” claim to state that “The hydrosoluble CoQ10 in Qunol softgels has been used in several clinical studies,” but found that modified version could be understood by consumers to mean that the product has been proven effective in clinical studies, a claim that is not supported.  

NAD found that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for its claims that its Qunol soft gel product is “up to 300% more absorbable…” but recommended that the advertiser clarify the point of comparison – specifically that Qunol is “up to 300% more absorbable” than a standard powder form of CoQ10.

NAD, however, recommended that the advertiser discontinue its claim that Liquid Qunol is “Up to 6X better absorption than regular CoQ10.” as well as the claim that “100 mg Qunol Liquid CoQ10 = up to 600 mg regular CoQ10.” since these claims are based solely on the results of laboratory, rather than human, testing.

Finally, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its claims that equate the absorption of Qunol with effectiveness. However, NAD found that 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. 

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it respectfully disagrees with NAD’s findings regarding the claim that Qunol liquid CoQ10 provides “up to 6x better absorption,” and will appeal that finding to the National Advertising Review Board.

The company further stated that it would take NAD’s recommendation regarding the remaining claim into account in future advertising.