Friday, 12 November 2010

The Really Healthy Company's Detox Dilemma

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The Really Healthy Company sounds like something created by one of those witless Windsors.


The Company's flyer (available here and here) promotes AlphaClear, which is apparently a "Detox & Energizing Solution":

"...a new liquid zeolite supplement formulated for powerful detoxification, protection from oxidative stress, and energizing [sic] the metabolism. In other words, AlphaClear helps us feel GREAT!"

In case you're not yet impressed, here are the technical specifications.

"The two primary ingredients in AlphaClear are a detoxifying volcanic mineral called zeolite and a strong antioxidant called Alpha-lipoic acid. Together, these two natural substances help to free our cells from some of the toxins and excess oxidation tha prevents them functioning normally."

Pull the other one, old bean! ASA complaint follows.

"I write to complain about a leaflet I picked up at the CamExpo exhibition in London on 24th October this year.

The leaflet, for the Really Healthy Company, promotes "AlphaClear", a nutritional supplement.

I suspect that the leaflet may be in breach the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP Code). I can provide the original leaflet by post, if necessary.

1. The flyer describes the advertised product thus:

"AlphaClear is a new liquid zeolite supplement formulated for powerful detoxification, protection from oxidative stress, and energizing [sic] the metabolism. In other words, AlphaClear helps us feel GREAT!

"The two primary ingredients in AlphaClear are a detoxifying volcanic mineral called zeolite and a strong antioxidant called Alpha-lipoic acid. Together, these two natural substances help to free our cells from some of the toxins and excess oxidation tha prevents them functioning normally."

2. The UK's leading authority on complementary medicine, Professor Edzard Ernst, has recently written about "detox" therapies [1]:

"Detox, as used in alternative medicine, is based on ill-conceived ideas about human physiology, metabolism, toxicology etc. There is no evidence that it does any good and some treatments...can be harmful. The only substance that is being removed from a patient is usually money."

3. Under Section 15 of the CAP Code, I challenge the following claims the advertiser makes for the product:

(i) AlphaClear can detoxify the body
(ii) AlphaClear can protect against "oxidative stress"
(iii) AlphaClear "helps removes heavy metals and other toxins from the body safely and efficiently"
(iv) AlphaClear, because of its "potent antioxidant", can "[neutralise] free radicals in both fatty and watery parts of [the body's] cells"
(v) AlphaClear "supports stronger immune system function"
(vi) AlphaClear "energizes [sic] sluggish metabolisms"

4. I confirm I have no connections with the advertiser. I confirm I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser.

Footnotes:

[1] Simon Singh, Edzard Ernst, "Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial", American edition 2008, p308
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