Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.
This section should be read in conjunction with the entry on Health: Therapies (General)
Live blood analysis (or testing) is the observation of a pin prick quantity of blood through a microscope. Marketers have claimed that by studying blood in this way they are able to identify abnormalities in blood cells including allergies, vitamin deficiencies, illness, weakness and detect diseases.
In 2010, the ASA upheld a complaint about an ad for live blood analysis which claimed “With a live analysis, the following can be identified, including: Relative level of acidity in the body fluids and the Effects they have especially for weight loss! Blood sugar imbalance Vitamin deficiency, Allergies, cholesterol Uric acid and mycotoxins Gastro-intestinal tract dysfunction Detection of parasites, yeast, fungus and mould Imbalance associated with degenerative conditions”. The advertisers were unable to substantiate the claims and the ASA considered the ad misleading (Live Blood Test, 13 October 2010).
Similarly, in 2013, the ASA upheld a complaint about a practitioner whose ad made claims including “...Crohn's disease is not a disease at all and that it is the result of poor dietary habits causing inflammation to its unwitting victims”, “It is now high time to look at a safe natural alternative that works” and "Errol has treated conditions such as Arthritis, Cancer. Diabetes. Gout etc...” The ASA noted that the ad made efficacy claims for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought and that diagnoses and treatment for them could only be provided by a suitably qualified medical professional. Because the advertiser could not demonstrate that this was the case, the ASA considered that the ad was likely to discourage essential medical treatment and therefore breached the Code (Live Blood Test t/a Errol Denton, 27 February 2013).
CAP is yet to see any evidence for the efficacy of this therapy which, without rigorous evidence to support it, should be advertised on an availability-only platform.
See ‘Food allergy testing’.