National Advertising Division has determined that i-Health Inc. can support certain advertising claims for the BrainStrong DHA supplements for young children, including that claim that the product “supports brain development and function.”
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. As part of its ongoing monitoring program, NAD requested substantiation from i-Health for claims that included:
· “Now there’s BrainStrong with life’s DHA. It’s the safe and natural way to give your toddler’s brain the DHA it needs.”
· “Provides an important brain nutrient lacking in most kids’ diets.”
· “Contains the same brand of DHA found in infant formula.”
· “You nurtured his brain with DHA when he was just in a crib. Why stop now when he’s expanding his territory?”
NAD also considered the implied claim that “[a] child’s brain will not develop and function well without DHA supplementation.”
In support of its claims, the advertiser provided NAD with a number of studies on Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) an omega-3 fatty acid, including a randomized, single-blind controlled study in which children 7 to 9 years of age were given either a placebo or a fish-based bread spread containing DHA for six months.
NAD determined that the studies, in conjunction with the significant body of research demonstrating DHA is critical for brain development in utero and during infancy, provided a reasonable basis for the claim that BrainStrong “[s]upports brain development and function” in young children.
NAD further determined that the advertiser had supported the remaining claims at issue. Finally, NAD determined that the advertising at issue did not convey the implied message that “[a] child’s brain will not develop and function well without DHA supplementation.”
i-Health, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company is pleased “NAD concluded we have substantiated the express and implied claims … .”
“As a leader in scientifically based health and nutrition products, i-Health believes advertising should be truthful and accurate, and we are committed to tailoring advertising claims to the underlying science,” the company said.