June 25th, 2020
“OEA sends a signal to your brain to let you know when you’re full … RiduZone contains OEA and that’s all it contains,” says a recent radio ad for the weight-loss supplement, which is manufactured by NutriForward.
The ad doesn’t say what OEA stands for, just that it is “a molecule that’s naturally present in your body.” According to the RiduZone website, OEA is short for oleoylethanolamide (we’ll stick with OEA) and it’s produced in the small intestine. The website claims that RiduZone is “FDA Accepted” and “FDA Acknowledged” — terms that we’ve never heard of but terms that may lead consumers to believe that the FDA has subjected RiduZone to a rigorous review for safety and effectiveness and given the supplement its stamp of approval, which simply isn’t true for any supplement.
Moreover, fine print on the RiduZone website states that the FDA has reviewed the chemical method used to produce the OEA in RiduZone, as opposed to the supplement itself, and determined the manufacturing process to be safe:
IMPORTANT: While OEA is a naturally occurring metabolite produced in the body, the OEA in RiduZone is a New Dietary Ingredient produced by an FDA acknowledged chemical method. The FDA has reviewed the method of production of OEA by NutriForward, LLC and acknowledged it as safe.
But wait, there’s more.
NutriForward is also:
- using the FDA’s logo (see screenshot taken from RiduZone website above) in violation of the agency’s logo policy, which prohibits the logo from appearing on “private sector materials”;
- featuring weight-loss testimonials on its website — such as that of a woman, “Beth G.,” who claims to have lost 58 pounds — that it acknowledges in another easy-to-miss disclaimer are atypical if they’re even true because the company says results are self-reported and “therefore cannot be confirmed” (of note, the FTC’s Endorsement Guides address atypical testimonials and what’s required to use them);
- citing a poster at a 2016 conference as support that RiduZone helps people with a range of body mass indexes lose weight (these charts have since been scrubbed from the website);
- promoting a 30 percent discount in the radio ad without disclosing in the ad that consumers need to purchase three bottles of RiduZone for $125.99 to get the savings.
Finally, NutriForward concedes that, “If one does not practice healthy eating and have activity level, no results should be expected.” But if one is already eating healthy and exercising regularly, one probably doesn’t need RiduZone in the first place.
TINA.org reached out to NutriForward for comment. Check back for updates.
Find more of our coverage on weight-loss supplements here.
UPDATE 7/6/20: NutriForward has made several changes to the RiduZone website in response to an inquiry by TINA.org. These include ceasing its use of the FDA logo; clarifying that the supplement is FDA acknowledged “for safety”; removing substantial weight-loss testimonials; and increasing the font size of a “results not typical” disclaimer at the bottom of the website. In addition, the company said it will modify its radio ad to make clear that the 30 percent discount is only available to consumers who purchase a three-month or three-bottle supply.