Cortisol Claims Stopped by FTC

Medical Authors and Editors: Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D. and Frederick Hecht, M.D.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a law suit to stop two companies from making health claims about two dietary supplements called CortiSlim and CortiStress. CortiSlim is promoted as producing a quick 10-50 pound weight loss. CortiStress claims to prevent a whole range of medical conditions including osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, cancer and cardiovascular disease. According to the FTC, "...the defendants' infomercial claimed that persistently elevated levels of cortisol are the underlying cause of 'every modern lifestyle disease that is associated with this fast-paced 21st century lifestyle.' "

The FTC is hoping to negotiate a settlement that not only results in a permanent injunction against advertising claims but also monetary reimbursement for consumers who have purchased the CortiSlim and CortiStress.

Comment: Cortisol is the major natural glucocorticoid. (A glucocorticoid is a hormone that predominantly affects the metabolism of carbohydrates and, to a lesser extent, fats and proteins in the body. The term glucocorticoid also applies to equivalent hormones synthesized in the laboratory.) Cortisol is the primary stress hormone.