NAD Reviews Advertising For Kinoko AHCC Products

New York, NY – May 28 , 2009 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus found that Quality of Life Labs, the maker of Kinoko AHCC and Kinoko AHCC Gold,  could support the claim that its products “help support normal immune function.” NAD recommended, however, that the advertise modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for the products.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined print and Internet advertising for the product as part of  NAD’s ongoing monitoring program and in conjunction with an initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition designed to expand the review of advertising claims for dietary supplements.

Claims at issue in the NAD inquiry included:

  • “Clinical research shows that Kinoko AHCC and Kinoko AHCC Gold help support normal immune function by:
  • Significantly improving immune response.
  • Increasing and maintaining normal NK cell activity.
  • Enhancing macrophage and T-cell activity.”
  • “Immune Supplement Supported by Over 80 Research Studies.”

Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC), is a mushroom-derived product made from the hybridized mycelium of the mushroom, cultured in rice bran.

Following its review of the evidence, NAD determined that there were significantly fewer than 80 studies that demonstrated the products improved immune health, and recommended that the claim that AHCC is an “Immune Supplement Supported by Over 80 Research Studies” be discontinued. NAD did find, however, that the valid clinical testing provided did substantiate general claims that AHCC helps support normal immune function and immune health.

NAD found that because the product’s sole ingredient is AHCC, the advertiser could accurately make certain general claims based on studies conducted on the ingredient. However, NAD found that the claim “Clinical research shows that Kinoko AHCC and Kinoko AHCC Gold help support normal immune function by…” went beyond a general product claim and implied that the products Kinoko AHCC and Kinoko AHCC Gold have been clinically tested, a message that is not accurate. NAD recommended the advertiser modify its advertising to limit the claim to the ingredient AHCC.

NAD further determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for its claims that  “Kinoko AHCC and Kinoko AHCC Gold help support normal immune function by:

  • Significantly improving immune response.
  • Increasing and maintaining normal NK cell activity.
  • Enhancing macrophage and T-cell activity.”

However, NAD recommended that the advertiser disclose that the claimed benefits were shown in individuals with compromised immune systems.

In its consideration of the products’ dosage, NAD noted that Kinoko AHCC is sold in 250 mg capsules and the label directs users to take 4-12 capsules per day, Kinoko AHCC Gold is sold in 500 mg capsules and directs users to take 2-6 capsules per day.

The relevant studies presented as evidence indicate consumers would have to take at least 3 grams per day of AHCC to obtain the advertised performance benefits – the maximum dosage amounts suggested on the label of each product. NAD also recommended that the advertising disclose that consumers would have to take the maximum dosage prescribed on the label in order to obtain the advertised performance benefits.

In its advertiser’s statement, the company said it agreed “with all of NAD’s recommendations” and would make the recommended modifications.