Responding to a Council for Responsible Nutrition challenge, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has investigated Neogenesis Laboratories, LLC’s advertising for nitric oxide (NO ) supplement Neo40® and found that while its claims about NO have scientific support, claims about Neo40’s purported benefits are unsupported. In advertising Neo40®, Neogenesis claims that “[n]itric oxide is involved in virtually every organ system within our body but is known primarily for maintaining normal blood pressure and blood flow to tissues” and that the “endothelium (inner lining) of blood vessels uses Nitric Oxide to signal the surrounding smooth muscle to relax, thus resulting in vasodilation and increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery.”

Neogenesis argued that NO is a well-studied molecule supported by more than 1,000 papers published since its discovery in 1989, according to an October 28, 2014, NAD press release. NAD agreed that Neogenesis had a reasonable basis for its NO advertising. Claims that Neo40® is “proven to help the body naturally increase its nitric oxide level,” “helps maintain circulation” and “helps maintain healthy blood pressure” were, in contrast, found to be unsupported by “competent and reliable scientific evidence.”

Neogenesis reportedly submitted several studies, including a case study and “a description of a study that purported to look at blood pressure and arterial stiffness in thirty-one people up to one hour after ingesting Neo40 Daily supplements.” In NAD’s view, “that evidence did not rise to the level of competent and reliable scientific evidence because of methodological flaws in the studies and/or the results from the trials did not support the advertiser’s claims.” Neogenesis has indicated that it would appeal the decision because NAD failed “to appreciate the clinical relevance of the clinical evidence provided, which includes four clinical trials, opinions from five experts in the relevant field, and a wealth of case studies and other research demonstrating the clinically relevant benefits of the product.”