Health supplement claims

Find out what claims you are allowed to make on your health supplement products.

Types of health claims

A claim is a message or representation made on a product. It relates to a product's indications, benefits or action. The claim may be stated directly or inferred through, but not limited to, the following:

  • Graphics or logo on packaging
  • Product or brand name
  • Media advertisements
  • Point-of-sales materials
  • Product brochures or information sheets distributed with or separately from the product

Permissible and prohibited claims

Permissible claims

A health supplement can come with claims that support or maintain health, well-being or physiological process. These claims can be classified as general claims, or specific claims to maintain or enhance a specific body function or structure.

Examples of general health claims:

  • Support for good health and growth
  • Supplement the body for growth and development
  • Strengthen the body
  • Relieve general tiredness or weakness

Examples of specific health claims:

  • Support / maintain healthy joints
  • Support the immune system or blood circulation
  • Manage mild discomfort associated with menopausal symptoms
  • Assist in maintaining joint mobility

Refer to the List of Health Supplement Claims88 KB for more examples.

Prohibited claims

Health supplements must not be labelled, advertised or promoted for any medicinal purpose. This includes implied claims for the treatment or prevention of any disease and disorders.

Here is a list of examples of diseases and disorders:

Body system or organs Examples of related claims not allowed

Blood & circulatory system

Hypertension, stroke, cholesterol disorders, reduces cholesterol, regulates platelet aggregation, coagulation defects, arteriosclerosis
Brain & nervous system

Epilepsy, fits, paralysis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinsonism, dementia, neuropathies, drug addictions, depression, eating disorders

Digestive system

Ulcers, gastritis, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, fatty liver, diarrhoea, constipation, inflammation of the intestines, liver or pancreas

Endocrine system Diabetes, thyroid disorders, hypothyroidism, prostate diseases, thymus disorders, hormonal regulation
Eye, ear, nose & throat Blindness, cataract, deafness
Immune system Leprosy, AIDS, allergies, immunisation
Metabolic systems Obesity, gout
Muscular, connective tissues and skeletal system Osteoporosis, arthritis, sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, sclerosis, inflammation of joints, dental and periodontal diseases
Renal system Kidney stones, renal failure, nephritis, urinary tract infection, incontinence, cystitis
Reproductive systems Menstrual disorders, sexual dysfunction, infertility, frigidity impotency, conception, pregnancy
Respiratory system Asthma, tuberculosis, bronchitis, sinusitis, cough, cold, flu
Skin, hair & nails Fungal infection, eczema, ulcers, warts, moles, pigmentation disorders, alopecia
Others Cancers, infectious diseases, inflammatory conditions or diseases

Product names that, in the context of other claims, infer the use of the product to prevent, manage or treat a disease or condition should also not be used. Examples include GlucoTreat, CholCure, ColdCure and GoutX.

Objectionable terms and claims include the following terms and phrases:

  • Miraculously
  • The only product to use
  • World's best
  • 100% safe
  • No side effects
  • Guaranteed
  • Other drugs or products cannot compare with it
  • Sensational relief
  • The No. 1 (unless substantiated)
  • Efficacious or effective
  • Perpetual youth
  • Anti-aging
  • Longevity
  • Anti-stress (unless qualified)
  • Breast enhancement, enlargement, growth
  • Height growth
  • Enhance intelligence or increase IQ
  • Increase or improve memory
  • Memory enhancement
  • Hormone releaser, enhancer or amplifier.
  • Regulate hormone
  • Enhancement of sexual organs
  • Sexual powers
  • Arousal or libido
  • Replaces a balanced diet
  • Replaces a healthy lifestyle

General principles for claims

General principles for claims

When in doubt, always refer to these general principles before making a health claim.

Principle Practice
Truthfulness Nature, quality and properties of the health supplement should be truthfully stated. Claims should not be misleading by way of ambiguity, exaggeration or omission. They should not also imply that the product is a medicine. Avoid unqualified superlatives.

Avoid putting claims in slogans, taglines and headlines due to their brevity and tendency to be misinterpreted.

Substantiation All claims should be substantiated by good quality evidence that is relevant to the claims. Evidence should come from authoritative references, documented history of use, scientific opinion from scientific organisations or regulatory authorities and good-quality scientific evidence from human studies. Evidence may be based on the finished product, or its ingredients, if justifiable.

It is the dealer's responsibility to hold these evidence and provide them to us when required.
Endorsements and testimonials from healthcare professionals Testimonials or recommendations by healthcare professionals should not be used in the product label, advertisement or promotion materials.

Testimonials by non-professionals Testimonials and endorsements are permitted if they are genuine and related to the personal experience of the individuals who provide the statement. The dealer needs to hold proof of identity of these individuals and substantiation that such testimonials reflect the typical experience of ordinary users.

Testimonials that are obsolete or no longer applicable should not be used.
Claims related to traditional use The product should not be associated with any traditional healing paradigm, as it is not a traditional medicine.

Logos, initials and trademarks Be sure to obtain the permission of the relevant firm, company or institution before using their name, initials, logo or trade service marks on your product label, advertisements and promotions.

The names and logos of HSA and its professional groups cannot be used for any health supplement product materials and advertisements.

Discourage from medical advice Product claims should not create the impression that the public need not seek medical advice.

Exploitation of fear Claims should not arouse fear or exploit the public's superstition.
Reference to stress The product cannot claim to prevent or reduce the stress of modern living. Any reference to stress management should be explained. For example, a product assists in stress management by providing nutritional support.

Reference to performance in studies Claims cannot imply that the consumption of the product can improve performance in studies, make a person smarter, improve IQ or improve memory.
Reference to anti-ageing The product cannot claim to prevent, retard or reverse the physiological changes and degenerative conditions brought about by or associated with ageing.
Reference to sexual function and relationships The product cannot claim or be implied to induce sexual virility or manage sexual weakness or sexual excess and conditions such as premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction. Claims should not imply that the use of the health supplement can affect one’s love life or relationship with others.
Reference to consumption Claims should not encourage indiscriminate, unnecessary or excessive use of the health supplement.
Claims of safety The product cannot claim or be implied to have no adverse effects or side effects. Terms such as "100% safe" are not allowed. It should not be suggested that product safety is the result of it being "natural".

Use of scientific data Do not use scientific data that the general public cannot verify or validate.

Seller should not misuse or exaggerate research results or extract unnecessary quotations from technical and scientific publications to imply a greater validity than they really have.

Avoid terms like "proven by clinical trials" or "clinically proven" for health supplements as it implies treatment efficacy in a disease or medical condition or that the scientific study conducted on the product has passed the same strict efficacy standards applicable for medicines.
Language Claims should be in simple language. Avoid confusing jargons and scientific terms such "nanoclusters" and "pharmaceutical grade".
Conformance with SCAP The Singapore Code of Advertising Practice (SCAP) regulates all local advertising activities. All health supplement advertisements must also comply with the SCAP guidelines.

For more information on claims in Health Supplements, refer to the Health Supplements Guidelines 231 KB
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