Adverts for supplements claiming to treat autism banned

Advertisements for three supplement brands that claimed to treat a range of medical conditions, including autism and ADHD, have been banned in the UK. 

A paid-for Facebook advert for Aspire Nutrition in April said: "The secret weapon parents of ASD kids swear by", while text in the form of a review attributed to "Tara K. Verified Buyer", read: "This has helped my five-year-old with level two autism so much.

"Within the first week his meltdowns decreased by 80%. He is communicating so much better… he is starting to show kindness and empathy to his little sister."

Further text read: "As parents of children with autism, we all share the same dream: to see our children thrive in school."

Another paid-for Facebook ad in January, for Drop Supplements, stated: "For people with stress, anxiety, brain fog, ADHD ... Happy Mind Drops - your new secret adaptogen against stress! Prepare yourself to unleash your true potential and banish your mental barriers."

A third paid-for Facebook ad for Spectrum Awakening stated: "My five-year-old son Scout is diagnosed with receptive expressive language disorder and sensory disorder. Until I found Spectrum Awakening he could barely put a sentence together with very limited speech and words and lots of jargon."

It went on: "The first supplement we tried was Power and Focus and within the first three days he started using way more words. Within a week he was speaking sentences. I'm absolutely amazed that I can't wait to order more."

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found that the claims that each supplement, or substances in them, could help to prevent, treat or cure autism breached regulations after investigations.

Aspire Nutrition said they had stopped sending adverts to UK residents who visited their website and had withdrawn the ad entirely for all audiences after being informed of the complaint.

Read more:
Jay Slater's mother releases new statement
Lucy Letby guilty at retrial
Trainee nurse guilty of hospital bomb plot

Drop Supplements said their adverts featuring Happy Mind made no direct or implied statements about curing, treating or preventing ailments or diseases.

However, the ASA said the advert's claims would be understood by most consumers as implied claims that the product could prevent, treat or cure human disease.

Spectrum Awakening did not respond to the ASA's inquiries.

The ASA told each firm to ensure their future advertising did not claim that food - in these cases in the form of a supplement - could prevent, treat or cure human disease.