‘Be cautious of ‘natural’ health products’

National 1 minute, 51 seconds


USE dietary supplements safely, read and examine the label ingredients and recognise that “natural” does not always mean safe, reminded a Senior Pharmaceutical Chemist yesterday at the food safety health forum held in the Tutong district.

“Be aware that a herbal supplement may contain dozens of compounds, and that all of its ingredients may not be known,” said Hasmilawaty Hj Md Taib.

She added that some people who want to lose weight in a short span of time may choose unreliable pills or products being sold without thinking of its long-term side effects.

“Avoid products that use words and images that are dodgy. The effect of these products are not necessarily visible at the moment but it can be harmful in the long run,” she said, noting that several coffee brands containing harmful ingredients such as “Kopi Perkasa” and “kopi harimau hari-hari mau”.

She stressed that most of the so-called health products are packaged in a way to entice people in believing that it is reliable and guaranteed safe.

“Some may opt for pills or supplements to suppress hunger in an effort to stay healthy or lose weight. It is important to look for reliable sources of information so you can evaluate the claims that are made about them,” Hasmilawaty said.

She reminded participants not to be fooled by advertisements and promotions that are overwhelming, especially with products that contain terms difficult to comprehend, as they can provide long-term damage.

The forum, organised by the Ministry of Health (MoH), also touched on several food safety health-related issues, highlighting that two million deaths, based on data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), occur annually from food contamination by dangerous bacteria, viruses, chemicals and parasites.

Four panel speakers from various health departments discussed a range of topics related to the “World Health Organisation 2015: Food Safety” theme. These include food safety from an Islamic perspective and food contamination by controlled products.

Held in conjunction with the World Health Day, the event was graced by Tutong District Officer Wardi Hj Mohd Ali along with legislative council members Yang Berhormat Hj Ramli Hj Lahit, YB Orang Kaya Maha Bijaya Hj Othman Uking and YB Dato Paduka Hj Abdullah Hj Mohd Jaafar.

The Brunei Times