NAD alleges Evolution Nutraceuticals trumpets effect of a chemical, not the product that delivers it
Way back in 1998, three doctors were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of the cardiovascular effects of nitric oxide.
This simple molecule, it turns out, functions as an important signaling mechanism in the human cardiovascular system, helping cells maintain and repair themselves. Over the years, nitric oxide has been found to have applications for neonatal patients and those suffering lung injury, acute respiratory distress and pulmonary hypertension.
Evolution Nutraceuticals, a company that produces diet supplements, embraced the research on nitric oxide with its Cardio Miracle powder supplement. According to the company website, Cardio Miracle is “a combination of the finest organic, natural, and laboratory tested ingredients that supports extended nitric oxide delivery ... in the body.”
And it was banking on the persuasiveness of the nitric oxide research; the “Ultimate Pack” Cardio Miracle package costs $287 for a 100-plus-day supply.
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The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade organization that represents dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers, took exception to some of Evolution Nutraceuticals’ advertising for Cardio Miracle, and it called the manufacturer’s claims out before the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (NAD).
The company promised to improve the body’s ability to produce nitric oxide plus a score of benefits produced by the molecule itself: lowered blood pressure, help with neuropathy and dizziness, and, most notably, the prevention or reversal of heart attacks and strokes.
NAD launched an investigation but claims to have received an insufficient response from the manufacturer; Evolution Nutraceuticals answered the query by touting the ingredients of Cardio Miracle – including arginine, citrulline and the powders of various nitrate-rich vegetables – and their ability to stimulate nitric oxide production in the body.
NAD claims that Evolution Nutraceuticals dodged the pertinent question. NAD maintained that it was not concerned with, and did not dispute, claims that nitric oxide benefited cardiovascular health. The question at hand for NAD was whether Cardio Miracle itself delivered the benefits it advertised. It recommended that the advertisements be discontinued.
NAD claims that Evolution Nutraceuticals failed to provide any evidence regarding the efficacy of the Cardio Miracle product itself. This again underscores the importance of a company providing adequate substantiation for its products and claims that it makes that directly relate to its use, not generalized benefits of component ingredients. Here, NAD determined that the advertiser’s evidence was insufficient to support any claims regarding the Cardio Miracle product and recommended that the advertiser discontinue all the challenged claims, since no evidence was offered for the product itself.
For its part, Evolution Nutraceuticals stressed once again the veracity of its claims regarding nitric oxide but added that it would adjust its advertisements to make it clear that Cardio Miracle was a “possible supporting product with clinically acceptable ingredients in meaningful amounts, to support the body’s natural signaling process of nitric oxide with such.”