BioBind banned from making slimming claims in UK

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

ASA: "We told Direct Healthcare not to make efficacy claims for which they did not hold robust substantiation..."
ASA: "We told Direct Healthcare not to make efficacy claims for which they did not hold robust substantiation..."

Related tags: Digestion

UK firm Direct Healthcare has been rapped by the advertising watchdog over slimming claims for itsBioBIND product that contained cactus extract, chitosan and psyllium husk.

Claims included that BioBind, "helps to reduce food cravings. The soluble fibres in BioBIND engorge in water and trap food, thus slowing down digestion and reducing blood sugar spiking." 

"So as a result, the desire to eat is dramatically reduced and replaced by a feeling of fullness. Therefore, BioBIND works in three ways:  

  • Reduces amount of fat absorbed from your diet.  
  • Helps to suppress appetite.  
  • Helps decrease food cravings." 

Direct Healthcare prvided one study backing the opuntia nopal cactus ingredient and two backing chitosan, but the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) was unimpressed.

It said the cactus study used a gastro model and not human subjects, and therefore was, “concerned that the complex processes in the human gastrointestinal tract may not have been replicated using the model and that it may not have given an accurate representation of nopal's effect on the human body."

"We also noted that in both this study, and the two studies sent to demonstrate the efficacy of chitosan on weight loss, only ingredients found in BioBind were tested and no studies had been carried out that had been conducted using the BioBind product itself."

"We considered that to substantiate weight loss claims for the product, adequate evidence such as trials conducted on people, testing the product itself would need to have been carried out. We concluded that the efficacy claims for the product had not been substantiated and were therefore misleading."

"We told Direct Healthcare not to make efficacy claims for which they did not hold robust substantiation and to ensure all future health and weight loss claims complied with the Code."

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