The complaint for this class action alleges that Now Health advertises its Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator product as "What else?—detoxifying and regenerating the liver." According to the complaint, the human body has detoxifying and regenerative functions and the liver is one of the organs that perform them, but the liver itself does not normally need detoxification. As a medical treatment, “detoxification” is done in hospitals in life-threatening conditions, when there are large amounts of drugs, alcohol, or other poisons in the body.
The class for this action includes all persons or entities who bought the Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator product, for personal use and not for resale, within the applicable limitations period.
The complaint alleges that the “detoxification” promised by the supplement is a pseudo-scientific concept that hijacks medical terminology to fool people into buying something that they do not need. The complaint quotes doctors as scoffing at the idea that the liver needs to be “cleansed” and reproduces answers from doctors on healthtap.com about liver detoxing. In reply to the question, “Liver detox—what is a good product to choose?” one says, “NONE! NONE! NONE! Don’t waste your time, money, or health—liver ‘detoxing’ is snake oil!”
Those who believe in liver detoxing seem to picture the liver as acting like a filter, where toxins are strained out and retained, says a quotation from Science-Based Medicine, with detoxing seen as being similar to rinsing out a filter or sponge. But, it adds, the liver doesn’t work that way; instead, it performs chemical reactions to turn toxic substances into substances that can be eliminated from the body. The idea of cleansing the liver, it says, is based on ignorance of how the liver works. The complaint claims that Now Health exploits this ignorance among consumers and uses it to sell its product.
The complaint also says that the ingredients in the supplements do not help a normal, healthy liver in any way. Now Health advertises that the product contains milk thistle extract, N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), and Methionine. However, the complaint says, those substances have not been proven to do anything to promote liver function in normal human beings. The complaint calls milk thistle is an “herbal folk remedy,” but says that nearly all the studies of silymarin, the active ingredient, have looked at its performance in chronic liver disease, so there is no evidence that it supports the liver in healthy persons. NAC, the complaint says, is a treatment for acetaminophen poisoning, but useless to anyone with a healthy liver. And it says that Methionine is useful in making a substance called SAMe, but there is no evidence that increasing SAMe levels helps the livers of healthy individuals.
Thus the complaint claims that not only does the product not “detoxify and regenerate” the liver, it does not help the liver in any way.