FDA cautions public on food supplements
Mr Vigil Prah - Eshun, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), has cautioned the public against patronizing health facilities that claim to use only food supplements to cure all sorts of diseases, as their wrongful use could be fatal.
He stated that these health centers arrive at fraudulent diagnosis using unapproved/uncertified medical devices and food supplements for the treatment of heart diseases, cancers, and kidney problems, sometimes worsening the conditions of sufferers.
Mr. Prah-Eshun who spoke to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi in an interview admitted that though food supplements had some indicators to boost the body’s immune system and promote health and vitality, they are not in themselves medicines which could completely cure diseases.
The FDA Regional Boss has therefore invited the public to report peddlers and facilities with such fraudulent treatment schemes to any FDA office across the country, for the law to deal with them.
He said dietary supplements are just important to complement the body’s nutrients intake since food sources alone may not be able provide the required amounts to address deficiencies.
However, he said, it was essential that users were guided by health experts to take the recommended dose as excess ingestion of certain vitamins like Vitamin A – more than 25,000 IU a day, for instance, can cause blurred vision, headaches, hair loss and liver damage.
Additionally, “too much of vitamin B6 (more than 400 miligrams a day-200 times the recommended dose) can cause numbness in the hands and difficulty in walking”, he added.
The FDA Director advised the public especially those on medications for certain disease conditions, to always seek medical advice before taking supplements due to its potential to either antagonize or compromise the efficacy of their routine drugs, to worsen their conditions.
Mr. Prah-Eshun counselled the daily intake of more fruits – natural sources of vitamins to help boost the body’s ability to fight diseases to help the citizenry stay healthy.
He said his outfit has already launched a post market surveillance to deal with perpetrators.