Although food and dietary supplements have become more popular lately, we should always be wary of those that claim to produce “miraculous” results. More so, we should take the time to verify if these have been tested and approved by the proper health authorities.
On Wednesday, April 10, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has issued a warning on such products, which are often advertised online. In particular, the Ministry warned against using a “red rice yeast” supplement that claims to unclog blood vessels, among other benefits.
Public Cautioned About “Red Rice Yeast” Supplement
The Ministry stated that its inspection team has spotted a video about the product on social media, WAM News Agency reported. The video claims that after a month-long use, the supplement can: cleanse and unclog arteries; improve blood circulation; eliminate cholesterol, hypertension, and triglycerides; and protect against heart attacks. It also claims to be able to enhance memory, sleeping patterns, and physical activity.
“All the communicated information is deceptive and not based on scientific ground, and it can lead to health hazards that may occur to high cholesterol and hypertension patients,” said the the statement, which also mentioned that the product is not licensed by MoHAP.
The Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing, Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, described the promotion of dietary supplements of unknown origin as “morally unacceptable.” The fact that these are not registered — locally or internationally — also make them health hazards because of insufficient studies, information, and product specifications.
“Buying medicine and dietary supplements online became global practice,” Al Amiri stated in a report by Khaleej Times. “Therefore, MoHAP imposes strict measures to reduce the entry of such medicines to the country. The measures include the MoHAP employees being on an surveillance with Customs’ employees across the country’s airports and ports.”
“Social media platforms are a positive environment, but they might be used for false allegations,” he continued. “In order to increase their followers, some pages exploit people’s concerns about finding the treatment for some chronic diseases without using the registered medicines.”
“Unfortunately, this type of information finds credibility among some individuals who share, copy or republish this information in forums and chatting apps due to the simplicity of dealing with social media apps,” he explained.
Al Amiri added that such information could lead to a loss of confidence in approved medicines — those that have undergone thorough research, trial, and testing before getting approval. Hence, he said that spreading false information violates informatics regulations.
The UAE government is strict when it comes to unregistered products — for good reason — because it involves the safety of consumers! In fact, there’s a hefty fine for posting health ads without permits, so be careful of what you post and share on your social media accounts!