Public warned on risks of supplements

National 2 minutes, 9 seconds


THE Renal Services Department yesterday advised members of the public that consume supplements to conduct blood tests to ensure that there are no negative implications to their kidneys.

Suriawati Hj Jumat, the department’s Head of Renal Health Promotion unit, said that there have been cases of patients suffering from acute and chronic kidney diseases as a result of consumption of supplements.

She was speaking with The Brunei Times during a visit by a 20-member delegation from the Tutong Sixth Form Centre to the Rimba Dialysis Centre yesterday.

In the interview, Suriawati said that health and sports supplements and are increasingly gaining popularity among Bruneians in recent years. “Many take it for boosting their health as well as for athletic performances,” she said.

“Everything that we consume has to be filtered by the kidneys and at the same time, it has to be detoxified by the liver. We advise them to stop eating the supplements after three months and get their blood checked to see if there are any activities/damages done to their kidneys,” she added.

She also urged the public to seek medical advice before consuming over-the-counter supplements. “If you don’t need it, it is better not to take it. If you really think you need it, please seek advice from a health professional.”

However, Suriawati said many do not seek advice before taking supplements.

“If they insist on taking the supplements, they have to make sure they drink lots of water. Water will help remove and eliminate toxins from their body (through urine),” she said.

The Renal Health Promotion Unit at the Rimba Dialysis Centre offers advice and health check-ups for the public every Tuesday from 2.30pm to 4pm.

However, according to Suriawati, not many people are aware of the services offered by the Centre, with only 10 people utilising the services this year.

In addition, the Renal Health Promotion Unit is also actively reaching out to schools and higher educational institutions as well as participating in health awareness programmes to boost renal health awareness in the country.

The health check-up service includes basic blood tests for for glucose in the blood, and urine tests for the presence of protein, as well as blood pressure and Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements. The test results will be available on the spot.

“If the results are abnormal, we will take action from there. If it is severe, we will refer them to our consultant,” said Suriawati.

“If it is not serious, we will ask them to consult doctors at their nearest clinics,” she added.

The Brunei Times