Tati Westbrook’s company launched a new multi-vitamin to her ever-expanding supplement line. The multi-vitamin, “Body and Brain Booster” help improve vision, treat dry-eye, reduce stress, and improve cognition. However, the product contains a toxic chemical that the Food and Drug Administration says is not safe to ingest.
On Instagram and YouTube, Halo Beauty launched a brand new vitamin. The vitamin promises to help people with a litany of medical conditions. On the label, the product promises to reduce stress, improve cognition, and nourish dry eyes.
Body and Brain Booster sells for $24.95 for a one month supply. Halo Beauty recommends taking the multi-vitamin along with other supplements offered by the company. During a video on YouTube, Tati Westbrook touted the benefits of her product.
According to Westbrook, the product works as internal sunglasses and prevents damage from blue lights. A common myth that permeates the pseudoscience world is that blue lights can damage the eyes.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, there is no evidence to suggest that blue light damages the eyes. Blue light is emitted from digital screens and LED light, but the sun emits more blue light than any other source.
Staring at a screen can cause people not to blink. The AAO suggests that when using a digital device to follow the 20/20/20 rule. Every twenty minutes focus on an object that is at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Focusing and shifting your eyes away from the screen will increase blinking and moisture in your eyes.
Despite the evidence that suggests no link, many companies in the alternative health world have jumped on the bandwagon to cure “blue light damage.” Halo Beauty’s vitamin suggests that ingredients in the supplement will stop symptoms associated with dry eye and prevent damage.
In Tati’s video, she said the vitamins were like “internal sunglasses for the eyes.” She discussed her issues with dry eyes and told people that the product works to help these issues.
Halo Beauty’s supplements are not drugs nor approved by the FDA to treat, prevent, or cure any diseases. Supplement companies are required by law to provide disclaimers to users that the FDA does not approve their products. During the video, Tati did not reference the FDA, nor did the video description include a disclaimer required by law by the FTC and FDA.
Tati’s video about the product is an advertisement. Supplement companies are required by law to disclose their products are not approved by the FDA to treat, cure, or prevent any illnesses during ads.
Outside of her claims to improve eye health, the product contains many ingredients not typical in supplements. On the Fact Sheet, six ingredients listed include no recommended daily value. Meaning, the ingredients have no known use for human consumption. The product includes Rosehip powder, Cyanidin, Inositol, Boron, Zeaxanthin, and Astaxanthin.
One ingredient, Boron, is exceptionally troublesome for humans. Boron exists in the ground. The mineral forms naturally from the evaporation of salt lakes. While boron exists naturally in the ground, The United States Environmental Protection Agency considers Boron a toxic substance.
A joint report by the EPA and FDA highlighted severe issues associated with Boron. The report encouraged people not to ingest boron.
Because Boron exists in soil, vegetables and water contain trace amounts of the mineral. Most people ingest boron through food and water. For the EPA and FDA, the exposure through food and water is more than enough for humans.
For years, household cleaners, pesticides, laundry detergents, and Nuclear Power Plants use boron. Individuals that live in areas that contain high levels of boron are at risk for boron toxicity.
According to the EPA, Boron toxicity in adults can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, redness of the skin, and difficulty swallowing due to ulcers in the throat.
Children exposed to Boron can suffer from convulsive seizures. Because of the risk of Boron poisoning, the EPA measures drinking water to ensure the levels are not harmful to humans.
However, even with groundwater testing, boron exists in plants and fruit. Based on the toxicity of boron, neither the FDA or EPA recommend anyone ingest the mineral.
The FDA does not approve supplements, and the FDA does not ban boron for use in supplements. However, people should not go out of their way to take any additional boron unless prescribed by a doctor for boron deficiency – which is rare.
Another ingredient listed on the Fact Sheet is Rosehip Extract. On Halo Beauty’s website, rosehip extract improves skin moisture and reduces wrinkles and freckles. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.
According to Healthline, Rosehip oil and extract can be dangerous for several reasons. Allergic reactions to rosehip can be severe and include anaphylaxis.
Additionally, rosehip extract can cause complications for individuals with diabetes, anemia, sickle cell disease, and kidney stones.
During Tati’s video, she never disclosed that any of the ingredients were dangerous. She encouraged individuals to talk with a doctor if they have questions. However, her video included no disclaimer to consumers about the information provided in the advertisement.
According to the FTC, dietary supplement advertising must include a disclaimer to prevent an ad from being deceptive. Even though YouTube is not a traditional form of advertising, the video served as an advertisement for her product. The FTC states:
“When the disclosure of qualifying information is necessary to prevent an ad from being deceptive, that information should be presented clearly and prominently so that it is actually noticed and understood by consumers. A fine-print disclosure at the bottom of a print ad, a disclaimer buried in a body of text, a brief video superscript in a television ad, or a disclaimer that is easily missed on an Internet web site, are not likely to be adequate.
To ensure that disclosures are effective, marketers should use clear language, avoid small type, place any qualifying information close to the claim being qualified, and avoid making inconsistent statements or distracting elements that could undercut or contradict the disclosure. Because consumers are likely to be confused by ads that include inconsistent or contradictory information, disclosures need to be both direct and unambiguous to be effective.”
The FTC also requires companies to provide proof for any claims made in supplement advertisement. For a full list of all the requirements for supplement advertising, visit the FTC here.
Halo Beauty’s new product sells for $24.95. Please consult a doctor before ever starting a supplement. Also, visit the National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements for more information about the ingredients and safety of supplements.
Remember, dietary supplements are not a miracle cure. Additionally, no government agencies are testing these products for safety. Therefore, consumers take these products at their own risk.
The FDA provides tips to identify “rip-offs” in the supplement industry:
Watch WOACB break down numerous ingredient in Halo Beauty’s new multi-vitamin.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis on The Non-Sequitur Channel. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.
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