NAD Recommends Healthy Directions Discontinue Certain Claims at Issue for ‘Joint Advantage Gold’ Supplement

New York, NY – Nov. 13,  2012 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that Healthy Directions, LLC, discontinue certain advertising claims for the company’s Joint Advantage Gold dietary supplement, including claims that the product eases pain in seven days and is made with ingredients traditionally used by the Aboriginal people of Australia.  The company said it will appeal NAD’s findings to the National Advertising Review Board.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry system of self-regulation and administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

As part of its ongoing monitoring program and in conjunction with an initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition to expand the  review of advertising claims made for dietary supplements, NAD requested substantiation for claims made in print, broadcast and Internet advertising, including:

•    “Joint Advantage Gold benefits your entire joint and the structure around it.  You’ll move more freely and be more comfortable!” – a claim accompanied by before and after photographs of a knee joint with “worn-out cartilage” and “less joint space” with “painful bone-on-bone contact.”  The After picture showed an x-ray of a knee joint that had “strong healthy cartilage,” “more joint space” and the declaration “PAIN FREE!”
•    “Build healthy joint cartilage.”
•    “Reduce joint pain – in as little as 7 days!”
•    “Eliminate stiffness.”
•    “Joint Advantage Gold is formulated to work throughout your entire body, in EVERY joint from your neck and shoulders to your toes.”
•    “Joint Advantage Gold helps you in 3 major ways:

a. Fast relief for chronic joint pain.  Clinical research shows that natural eggshell membrane (NEM) relieves joint discomfort and stiffness in as little as 7 days!
b. Enhanced joint flexibility and mobility, less stiffness.
c. Outstanding cartilage-building power.  Glucosamine sulfate and bovine cartilage build healthy cartilage, lubricate your joints and improve joint function.”

•    “The healing Australian and European herbal blends give your joints nourishment for greater mobility and comfort.”

NAD also examined claims made in a number of consumer testimonials.

The advertiser stated that Joint Advantage Gold supplements provide, on a daily basis, 1500 milligrams (mg) of glucosamine, 500 mg of natural eggshell membrane (NEM), 400 mg of boswellic acid, 400 mg of bromelain, 260 mg of Australian herbal blend (wild rosella, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, mountain pepper) and 216 mg of European herbal blend (devil’s claw extract, white willow extract, yucca extract, feverfew extract, celery extract, papaya extract).

NAD noted in its decision that claims such as “reduce joint pain – in as little as 7 days!” and establishment claims such as “fast relief for chronic joint pain.  Clinical research shows that natural eggshell membrane (NEM) relieves joint discomfort and stiffness in as little as 7 days!” must be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.

NAD determined that the advertiser’s body of evidence on NEM supplementation could not support claims to relief in seven days and recommended that such claims be discontinued.

NAD determined that the glucosamine studies provided by the advertiser were sufficiently reliable to provide a reasonable basis for claims that the glucosamine in Joint Advantage Gold may “reduce joint pain,” “enhanced joint flexibility and mobility, less stiffness,” and “lubricate your joints and improve joint function,” as well as a consumer testimonial that “Joint Advantage Gold saved me! I thought I would never ride my Harley Davidson motorcycle again; now, I am back riding.  It does wonders for my (pain).  Thanks.*”

NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue the claim “the healing Australian and European herbal blends give your joints nourishment for greater mobility and comfort.”

To the extent that the advertiser intends to limit to “traditional use” any claim related to these blends, NAD recommended that the advertiser refrain from any references implying that the Australian herbal blend was traditionally used by the Aboriginal people to relieve inflammation and joint discomfort. NAD noted, however, that certain herbal ingredients in the product do grow in Australia and found the advertiser had a reasonable basis for referring to the blend as an “Australian” blend.

The European blend, NAD noted, should exclude references to yucca and papaya because they are not traditionally grown in Europe.

NAD recommended that all other challenged claims and testimonials be discontinued.

Health Directions, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company does not agreed with “NAD’s analysis of the studies on Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM), a key ingredient in Joint Advantage Gold, and its recommendation that certain consumer testimonials be discontinued.  We also do not agree with the NAD’s finding that there is insufficient evidence demonstrating that Joint Advantage Gold® contains Australian herbs that have traditionally been used by Australian Aboriginals for relief of joint discomfort and inflammation.”

The company said it would appeal NAD’s decision to the NARB.