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Posted April 23, 2019

"Brain Boosting" Supplements Were Promoted With Non-Existent Clinical Studies

On April 10th, 2019, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) announced the marketers of cognitive enhancement supplements Geniux, Xcel, EVO, and Ion-Z have agreed to settle charges that they made false claims about the product, including fake research references and celebrity endorsements. The supplements were sold for $47 to $57 per bottle.

Geniux was promoted to improve memory and cognition on various websites including at least 36 third-party affiliate networks and websites designed to look like news sites. The websites claimed the product could "improve short- and long-term memory; increase focus -- including by as much as 300 percent; increase concentration; prevent memory loss; boost brain power -- including by as much as 89.2 percent; increase IQ -- including by as much as 100 percent; and improve users' speed of information processing."

According to the FTC, promotional materials for Geniux made references to non-existent clinical studies, falsely claiming that the product had been tested in over 2,000 clinical trials and that scientific studies proved Geniux products could increase users' focus "by up to 121%," "sky-rocket concentration by 32%," and boost brain power, memory recall, and IQ. The websites also presented false consumer and celebrity endorsements, including attributing the successes of individuals such as Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk to use of Geniux.

The settlement involves twelve corporate and four individual defendants and is divided into two separate orders, both of which bar the defendants from making false or unsubstantiated claims about Geniux and any other product. The first order imposes a $14,564,891 judgment on two individual defendants as well as the following corporations: Global Community Innovations LLC; Innovated Health LLC; Emerging Nutrition Inc.; Buddha My Bread LLC; Innovative Fulfillment LLC; Ship Smart LLC; Vista Media LLC; Ash Abbas LLC; DCT Marketing, Inc.; and RNA Enterprise, Inc. The second order includes a $11,587,117 judgment against two other individual defendants and two corporations, Premium Health Supplies, LLC and ROS Marketing & Consulting LLC. Both monetary judgements will be partially suspended based on the financial circumstances of the defendants.

For more information supplements for cognition, see ConsumerLab's answer to the question: Do any supplements really help with brain function, like memory and cognition?

See Related Warnings:

Supplements Promoted for Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Sell "False Hope," Warns FDA

Marketers of CellAssure and Cognify Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Cancer Claims

FTC Charges Marketers of Prevagen With Making False Claims

Health Research Labs Agrees to Settle FTC Charges of False Claims, Deceptive Marketing of BioTherapex and NeuroPlus

Marketers of Memory Supplement to Pay $1.4 Million to Settle FTC Charges

To read the FTC's news release about the settlement, use the link below.