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What Does “Clinically Proven” Mean in Advertising?

The words ‘clinically proven’ seem to be plastered everywhere, from supplements to skincare products! When you see the words ‘clinically proven’ on a product you will most likely assume that that product has gone through multiple types of rigorous testing and that the product has been scientifically proved to show results.

However, that might not be the same! In fact, the term ‘clinically proven’ doesn’t actually really mean anything! If any product has been tested and has had positive results that show the product acts in the way that the company wants it to, this company can then state that the product is ‘clinically proven’.

Seeing as there are no legal requirements for using the term ‘clinically proven’, companies tend to use it as much as possible to increase consumer trust and confidence, even if the products that they’re selling have not actually been rigorously tested to see if they show results or not.

In this article, I’m going to take a closer look at what ‘clinically proven’ really means, why you need to be careful when it comes to ‘clinically proven’ supplements, and how you can make sure the product you’re consuming is actually tried, tested and safe!.

‘Clinically Proven’ and The FDA

Legal issues begin when a company claims that its product is clinically proven to do something. For example, if a supplement company claims that one of its supplements is clinically proven to boost the immune system, that’s when it gets more complicated!

For a company to be able to say that their product is proven to provide specific results that change the body, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has to approve that.

Therefore, if a product claims that it can provide ‘clinically proven’ benefits that will change the body, or cure illness and disease, it has to be approved by the FDA. However, the majority of the time, companies will make these statements without actually having the FDA’s approval, meaning their statements are false and unsupported.

When Is Saying A Product Is ‘Clinically Proven’ Dangerous?

Since companies that state their products are clinically proven when they’re not actually properly tested are deceiving consumers, there are dangers involved. So, let’s take a look at some of them.

People May Be Let Down By Results

The first issue is that consumers may be let down by the product’s results. For example, if a supplement brand claims that one of its powders is clinically proven to reduce weight loss in one week (yes, there are statements like this out there!), and the consumer doesn’t experience this, they’re going to be disappointed.

Although this might be physically dangerous for the consumer, it’s disappointing for them, and it is actually dangerous for the brand’s customer base and reputation.

They May Assume That They’re Not Going To Experience Side Effects

When people see ‘clinically proven’ a lot of the time they will assume that since the product has probably been tested it is free from negative side effects.

Therefore, they will go ahead and try the product, without even looking into potential negative side effects. Then, if they do experience them, they won’t be prepared!

The Product Could Be A Complete Scam

Although not all products that have ‘clinically proven’ written on them will be a scam, a lot of the time, they will be! The simple reason for this is because a legitimate company will never want to state that its products are clinically proven if they’re not because it could tarnish the company’s reputation.

However, companies set up specifically to scam people will be more than happy to use the ‘clinically proven’ statement because there’s no concern about reputation. So, if you choose a ‘clinically proven’ product, be aware that it could be a scam company!

How Can You Tell If Something Has Actually Been Tested?

If you’re wondering whether a particular product is or isn’t properly tried and tested, or if a product is genuinely clinically approved, you can use two tactics!

Firstly, you can look at research journals related to the product – most of the time when a clinical trial or rigorous test of a product happens, it will be published online in a journal or medical review. So, you can always search for a ‘clinically proven’ medical journal or testing review for a specific product.

Or, you can actually just reach out to the company and ask for the records that show the product has been tested. If the company is telling the truth and the product has been properly tested, they will have no issue at all with providing you with this evidence.

However, if they tell you that they can’t give away that information or ignore you, it’s a sign that the product is probably not tested in the way that the brand claims it is.

How Can You Ensure You’re Purchasing A Safe And Tested Product?

So, by now you’re probably realizing that purchasing a ‘clinically proven’ product doesn’t mean that it’s safe, properly tested, or even actually beneficial!

But, then how do you ensure you’re purchasing a safe product? Here are five things you need to do to ensure you’re purchasing a safe and tested product, regardless of what kind of product it is!

Choose A Professional Company To Buy From

Whether you’re purchasing a supplement or a skincare product, you should always make sure that you are buying from a professional, transparent company.

Take a look at consumer reviews, look on the Better Business Bureau and do some research about a company before buying a product from a new company you know nothing about.

Do Your Own Research About The Product’s Ingredients

Before you buy any kind of product that you will consume or use topically, always take a look at the ingredients within it and do the research for yourself about whether the ingredients will actually provide the benefits that the brand claims they will.

Only Choose A Product With A Fully Disclosed Ingredients Label

On the topic of ingredients labels, it’s always important to choose a product that has a fully disclosed ingredients label.

For example, a fully disclosed ingredients label on a supplement is important so you know exactly how much of each ingredient you’re consuming and whether the amounts of the ingredients are sufficient and will provide you with the benefits the supplement is supposed to.

Fully disclosed ingredients labels also show transparency of the brand you’re buying from.

Choose A Product That Is Third-Party Tested

Third-party testing is the best form of testing because rather than a company putting a product through tests of its own, and potentially altering the results of those tests, an independent company tests the product and then either accredits it or fails it.

This is the best kind of quality control that can happen to a product, and it also shows that the company wants to be as transparent as possible. So, always choose a third-party tested product!

Don’t Be Scared To Get In Touch With The Company

A high quality, professional, trustworthy company should always want to help their customers and provide transparency about their products, so, if you have any questions about a product, reach out to the company you want to buy from and ask them!

Hopefully, they will be able to provide you more insight into the product and help you to figure out if you want to purchase from them or not.

The Bottom Line – Don’t Trust All Advertisement Claims and Do Your Own Research!

Quite simply, the words ‘clinically proven’ mean nothing! Any company can claim that their products have been ‘clinically proven’, even if they’ve only done one small test within their team and come to the conclusion that their products are good.

So, don’t trust products that are ‘clinically proven’.

Instead, do your own research, buy from legitimate and transparent companies, and choose to buy third-party tested products with fully disclosed labels.

Adam Author

About the LifeHacker Guy

Hi, I'm Adam the founder of the LifeHacker Guy.

I have a First Class Honours degree in Sports Science from Brighton University, specialising in exercise physiology and nutrition. In my youth I was a competitive Triathlete and long-distance runner placing top 10 in most triathlon races I completed.

Since suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I moved into web development, after a couple of years I then moved onto developing a number of online businesses. I've recently taken a sabbatical and I'm now looking to make big changes in my life, hopefully this may resonate with you - join me in my journey!

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