The advertising on the advertisers’ website referred to the following:
“Healthy Immune System
MAINTAINING A HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM IS EASY
Maintaining a healthy immune system is easy to do, provided you don’t have a serious illness that compromises the immune system. A wide range of vitamins and nutrients work in concert to boost the immune system. Therefore, if the immune system is to function at its optimal capacity, every single nutrient must be at normal levels in the body or our health will pay the price. To boost the immune system for optimal immunity against harmful germs, consider taking these vitamins and nutrients:
VITAMIN A, VITAMIN C, VITAMIN B and VITAMIN E boosting the immune system
Vitamin A is the defensive line of the immune system. Vitamin A keeps viruses, infections and other germs from getting into our bodies. Vitamin A keeps mucous membranes which line the throat, nose, mouth and other parts of the body, soft and moist. When these membranes are kept soft and moist they are better able to trap germs, stopping their infiltration. Furthermore, vitamin A helps to boost the immune system by making enzymes that look for and kill germs that manage to get inside the body.
Vitamin C unlike vitamin A, is not a part of the defensive line for the immune system. Rather, vitamin C takes the offensive line against germs. Vitamin C boosts the immune system by boosting the cells that are responsible for killing germs in the body. Vitamin C makes interferon, a protein that helps destroy viruses in the body. Vitamin C also increases the level of glutathione, which boosts the immune system.
Vitamin E has also been known to boost the immune system. Vitamin E boosts the immune system by producing interleukin-2, an immune protein that kills bacteria, viruses and even cancer cells. Interleukin-2 is produced in the body when the body suspects it has been invaded by germs and it helps white blood cells multiply and mature to fight off infections and diseases. The FDA has approved the use of Interleukin-2 in the treatment of some forms of cancers.
B-vitamins are energy-boosting vitamins that also boost the immune system. Vitamins such as folate, B6 and B12 do a lot to strengthen and boost the immune system. Vitamin B6 especially, has been shown in studies to boost the immune system by increasing white blood cell count in the body. The Department of Nutrition and Food management at Oregon state University conducted a study and found that when women increased their B6 intake from 1.5 milligrams to 2.1 milligrams, their white blood cell count increased by 35%.
Natural Sustained Energy (Caffeine and Sugar-free)
ENERGY BOOST TO FIGHT OFF BURNOUT AND FATIGUE SYNDROME…”
The complainant queried the validity of the claims made by the advertisers. She asked for evidence to support the claims made in the advertising that the product “boosts” the immune system and provides an “energy boost to fight off burn out and fatigue syndrome”.
The advertisers initially said that they would make amendments to their advertising and inform the Secretariat when the changes had been completed. The advertisers did not revert in the matter. It was, however, only on receiving a draft report recommending to the Complaints Committee that the complaint be upheld, did the advertisers amend their website.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and expressed their concerns at the advertisers’ failure to revert in a timely manner. They reminded them that there was an onus on all advertisers to demonstrate that their advertising was in conformity with the Code. They noted the amendments to the advertisers’ website. In the absence of substantiation for the claims made in the original advertising the Committee upheld the complaint under Sections, 8.1, 8.5, 8.14, 8.15 and 8.16 of the Code.
The advertisement must not run in its original form again.