The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has banned an advert appearing in a national newspaper for the vitamin supplement Diabetone, produced by Vitabiotics Ltd.
The ASA said they were concerned that the name of the product, Diabetone, when used in an advert, implied that it was a treatment for diabetes. The advert read: "Diabetone comprehensive nutritional support for people with diabetes shown to help maintain well-being in UK nutritional research."
It added that the clinical trials carried out on the individual components of Diabetone were not sufficient to substantiate the claim in the ad because they did not detail the methodologies used or provide sufficient information to show that participants in the trials were otherwise healthy people with diabetes, who were likely to be the target audience for the ad.
The ASA concluded that the ad was likely to mislead and Vitabiotics had not proved that the product could maintain either physiological or psychological well-being. It could also discourage essential treatment.
Libby Dowling, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK, said: "Supplements that falsely claim to help people with diabetes improve blood glucose control can often have the opposite effect and endanger people's long-term health.
"Companies offering fake supplements often prey on the most vulnerable members of society and in the vast majority of cases there is no evidence to suggest the 'medication' is safe for people with diabetes to take, let alone help them manage their condition.
"We strongly advise people with diabetes considering taking a supplement to contact their healthcare team for advice, or call our confidential Careline for information, before handing over any money or changing their diabetes treatment."