Flintstones Healthy Brain Support May Not Make Any Difference In Brain Function

Flintstone Label edited

Every parent wants what is best for their children, and nothing is more important than a healthy brain.  Unfortunately, supplement manufacturers often play on parents’ concern for their children by offering products claiming to offer various health benefits when there is little or no proof that they work.

One such product might be Flintstones. “Healthy Brain Support” which contains 100 mg of Omega 3 DHA that allegedly “Supports Healthy Brain Function.”  That claim may be deceptive.  In particular, the amount of DHA in the Flintstone supplement may be insufficient to deliver the promised health benefit, particular because the body discards the DHA before it can be used by the brain.  Moreover, few if any children suffer from DHA deficiency, which means there is no added benefit to taking the supplement.  In fact, there is only one reported case of DHA deficiency in the last thirty or so years and it involved a girl on an intravenous diet.  Even the Institute of Medicine—the health arm of the National Academies—has issued a report stating that it does not recognize a dietary requirement for DHA and that there is no DHA deficiency in the United States.  See Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients): The National Academies Press; 2005.  And, on April 22, 2014, the FDA, citing the 2005 Institute of Medicine report, published a Final Rule that acted on and expressly rejected Martek Biosciences Corp.’s (the maker of the DHA in Flintstone’s supplement) request that the FDA recognize a daily requirement for DHA. See http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-04-28/pdf/2014-09492.pdf.  In doing so, the FDA acknowledged that there is no dietary requirement for DHA as it is not an essential nutrient. Id.

Additionally, clinical cause and effect studies have consistently found no causative link between DHA algal oil supplementation and brain health and none of the Product’s other ingredients support brain health. For example, in Kirby, A., et al., 31(3) Research in Developmental Disabilities 718-30 (2010),  the study authors examined the effects of fish oil DHA supplementation on 450 students (ages 8-10 years old) for 16 weeks.  Id. at 720.  The study authors found that despite the wide range of cognitive and behavior outcomes used, DHA supplementation resulted in no significant differences in cognitive results:  “very few significant differences between the supplemented and placebo group on the learning and performance measures used.”  Id. at 729.

If you or someone you know purchased Flintstones “Healthy Brain Support” please contact us to discuss your legal options.