ASA Ruling: Procydin

Procydin, in an advertisement claimed, inter alia, that the product is “A natural supplement for heart illness, arthritis, hypertension and circulatory problems”, and “powerful antioxidant”, which delivers the same benefits of other antioxidants. These include, inter alia, the following, according to the advertisement: 
  • “They stimulate blood circulation, also to the capillaries, which is beneficial to diabetics”;
  • “They help to fight inflammation, benefitting people suffering from arthritis”;
  • “They protect against heart disease and can help to normalize blood pressure and cholesterol levels”;
  • “They can improve the efficacy of antiretroviral treatment”.

There are also claims that “Researches in Norway have found that AIDS patients who supplemented their diet with antioxidants, obtained better results with antiretroviral treatment”, along with other claims of this nature.

In essence, the complainant submitted that the advertisement creates the impression that all the benefits listed can equally be attributed to the respondent’s product. these claims, however, are exaggerated, absurd, and impossible.

Procydin / K Charleston / 17545
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Kevin Charleston Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Value Added Life (Pty) Ltd Respondent

15 Apr 2011
http://www.asasa.org.za/ResultDetail.aspx?Ruling=5524

Mr Charleston lodged a consumer complaint against the respondent’s advertisement for Procydin, which appeared in the Sunday Times at the end of February 2011.

The advertisement claims, inter alia, that the product is “A natural supplement for heart illness, arthritis, hypertension and circulatory problems”, and “powerful antioxidant”, which delivers the same benefits of other antioxidants. These include, inter alia, the following, according to the advertisement:

“They stimulate blood circulation, also to the capillaries, which is beneficial to diabetics”;
“They help to fight inflammation, benefitting people suffering from arthritis”;
“They protect against heart disease and can help to normalize blood pressure and cholesterol levels”;
“They can improve the efficacy of antiretroviral treatment”.

There are also claims that “Researches in Norway have found that AIDS patients who supplemented their diet with antioxidants, obtained better results with antiretroviral treatment”, along with other claims of this nature.

COMPLAINT
In essence, the complainant submitted that the advertisement creates the impression that all the benefits listed can equally be attributed to the respondent’s product. these claims, however, are exaggerated, absurd, and impossible.

The complainant pointed out that the claims made are in contravention of the provisions of Clause 4.1 of Section II in that there is no scientific basis for them. In addition, the complainant noted that the advertising refer to diseases listed in Appendix F, which means that they are not permissible.

The complainant also noted that the claims at issue also appear on www.theotheroption.co.za.

RELEVANT CLAUSE OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
The complainant identified the following clauses of the Code as relevant:

• Section II, Clause 4.1 – Substantiation

• Appendix F – References to diseases in advertising

RESPONSE
The respondent submitted that it has withdrawn the advertisement and will not use it again in future. It added that it is relooking its entire campaign and all promotional material in light of the new Consumer Protection Act.

While there may be a few advertisements that appear during April, these were already booked and placed.

It added that www.theotheroption.co.za is not operated by or affiliated to it. In any event, it contains no claims relating to this product.

ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.

It is firstly noted that the Directorate could not find any proof that there is any association between the respondent and the www.theotheroption.co.za website. In addition, the only product that appears to be promoted on this website is a product called Siberian Pine Nut Oil. The Directorate will therefore not consider this website at this time, as it does not appear to be relevant to the complaint at hand.

The ASA has a long standing principle which holds that where an advertiser provides an unequivocal undertaking to withdraw or amend its advertising in a manner that addresses the concerns raised, that undertaking is accepted without considering the merits of the matter.

The respondent’s undertaking appears to address the complainant’s concerns, and as such there is no need for the Directorate to consider the merits of the matter at this time.

This undertaking is accepted on condition that the advertisement complained of is withdrawn in its current format within the deadlines stipulated in Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide and is not used again in future.

The respondent’s attention is drawn to Clause 15.5 of the Procedural Guide.

14 Responses to ASA Ruling: Procydin

  1. Kevin Charleston 18 April, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    I'm embarrassed to say I messed up the Website address in the complaint.  It should have read: http://www.valueaddedlife.com.  
    Rule #1 – double-check everything before hitting the 'send' button  😉
    That doesn't appear to have been a great problem though – the website has been changed and no longer includes the offending details.  
     

  2. Uhmmm 27 September, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    So are grapeseed extract products scams? 🙁

  3. Harris 27 September, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    One has to consider whether the grape seed extract contains the active constituents (extraction process dependent), the dose and the frequency that the product is given.

    The famous Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database states the following:

    Effectiveness:

    POSSIBLY EFFECTIVE
    Chronic venous insufficiency. Taking grape seed extract or its proanthocyanidin constituents orally seems to reduce subjective symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency and improve venous tone (2541). Additionally, in one clinical trial, a specific grape leaf extract, known as red vine leaf extract (AS 195, Antistax, Boehringer Ingelheim), was given orally to patients with stage I and stage II chronic venous insufficiency. Leg edema significantly decreased after 6 weeks of treatment compared to placebo. Doses of 360 mg and 720 mg daily were both effective, but the higher dose produced a slightly greater effect. Patients also reported significant decreases in subjective complaints such as tired or heavy legs, tension, and tingling and pain after 12 weeks of treatment (2538).

    Ocular stress. Taking grape seed extract containing proanthocyanidin constituents orally might help decrease ocular stress from glare (2541).

    POSSIBLY INEFFECTIVE
    Allergic rhinitis (hayfever). Grape seed extract taken for 8 weeks before ragweed pollen season doesn't seem to decrease seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms or antihistamine usage (9182).

    INSUFFICIENT RELIABLE EVIDENCE to RATE
    Cardiovascular disease. There is preliminary evidence that consumption of purple grape products, such as purple grape juice and red wine, might improve endothelium-dependent vasodilation, prevent LDL oxidation, and suppress platelet-mediated thrombosis. Theoretically, chronic ingestion of these products might reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (8745,8746).

    Hypertension. Preliminary evidence suggests that grape seed polyphenols 1000 mg/day does not have a significant effect on blood pressure in hypertensive patients (13162).

    Night vision. Preliminary research suggests grape seed extract containing proanthocyanidins might also be beneficial for improving night vision (3580).

  4. Uhmmm 28 September, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    Thank you for this. I have been taking it for years.

  5. Anel 30 September, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    I would like to get the article about the grape seed extract and hypertension which is referenced as 13162 above.  I don't know where to find it on the website.  Can you please give me the citation?

  6. Harris 30 September, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    Ward NC, Hodgson JM, Croft KD, et al. The combination of vitamin C and grape-seed polyphenols increases blood pressure: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Hypertens 2005;23:427-34.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=15662232

  7. Anel 30 September, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Thanks Harris!

  8. Peter 30 November, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    Good Day,
    Thank you for the information.
    Regards
    Peter

  9. sharon Suttner 29 June, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    I have taken Procyden for years and years and when ever I stop within days I can feel the stiffness from arthritis in my fingers and toes returning so I can vouch that it works for that. I used to suffer very badly from Hayfever in spring. Both my children have it badly and have to take a lot of antihistamines. I have been saying for years that I grew out of it but perhaps its the Procyden. As far as the rest goes I am hoping that it is helping on some level.
    Can it do any harm and what are the schedule 3 and 5 components?
    Thanks Sharon

    • Prinitha Dowlath 3 April, 2018 at 11:11 am #

      Dear Sharon, I am most interested to hear of your success with arthritis after taking Procydin. I have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, and have had a hip replacement already 2 years ago. I am now finding severe pain in my other hip, and desperate to avoid a second hip replacement.
      But the pain is severe at times leading to difficulty in walking, and im only 50 years old!

      Please can you advise if you are still taking it for arthritis, if you experenced an side effects? How often do you take it?
      really appreciate your advise – my email is [email protected]
      Much appreciated.
      Prinitha

  10. R Sutherland 17 December, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    A friend told us that the Dr took him off Procydin because his white blood cells were more than the red cells. He was told to stop immediately. Is there any proof that this is correct.

  11. Roy 17 December, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    @R Sutherland
    It is impossible to know if Procydin caused this. I wonder if your friend heard correctly. Normally there are about 5 million red blood cells in each microlitre of blood (a microlitre is a 1 millionth of a litre); and between 4,500 and 11,000 white blood cells per microlitre. So normally there are about a thousand times more red cells per microlitre than white cells. If there are more white cells than red cells, it could be because the white cells have massively increased or the red cells have greatly diminished. Either way, there could well be an underlying disease process causing this. It seems unlikely to be related to the Procydin, however. It would be wise to stop taking the Procydin as we do not know what its safety profile is.

  12. thapelo 17 January, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    Please advise if it is safe to take procydin with ARV’s ? Can the virus benefit and multiply from the so-called immune boosters please ?

    Thanks

  13. Al-mare 2 September, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    goeie dag, ek wil graag weet of dit reg is as my oe al swakker word met procydin? my sig is baie swakker en moet ek procydin stop ?

    dankie
    groete

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