High risk when you buy health products online

Consumers who choose to buy health products online are taking a high risk with their health and they may find it difficult to seek redress if they fall ill after taking such products, said the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE).

CASE’s comments come as the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) issued an alert regarding two illegal weight loss products sold online. Two people fell ill after taking two illegal weight loss products, which were purchased online. A man in his 20s who suffered an acute kidney failure while another 15-year-old girl suffered hallucinations.

Anyone who are concerned about their health or suffers any symptoms should consult a proper physician to work up their health issues, instead of relying on health supplements to resolve their problems. And any health products should be obtained from reliable sources instead of just depending on unjustifiable anecdotal account or ‘testimonies’ from anyone, especially those from online sources.


Illegal weight loss products land two in hospital: HSA

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) warned the public not to purchase or consume two illegal weight loss products, after these led to two people hospitalised for hallucinations and acute kidney failure. The two products – Nutri Drops Grapefruit Diet and Nutrex Research Adipodex – were tested by HSA to contain potent, undeclared chemical ingredients. For the former, the undeclared chemical ingredients include sibutramine, benzyl sibutramine (a chemically-related compound of sibutramine) and phenolphthalein. Sibutramine, a weight loss drug, has been banned in Singapore since 2010 due to serious safety concerns. As for Nutrex Research Adipodex, which was marketed online as a dietary supplement, was labelled to contain yohimbine – a potent western medicinal ingredient not allowed to be present in supplements sold locally, the press release stated. It can trigger chest pains and high blood pressure.

A teenager experienced hallucinations after consuming Nutri Drops Grapefruit Diet for more than a month to lose weight, and was subsequently hospitalised. The product was labelled to contain all natural ingredients including green tea. Another consumer in his 20s consumed Nutrex Research Adipodex and suffered acute kidney failure leading to hospitalisation.

One must always exercise caution when purchasing their health products, and obtain them from reliable and reputable sources locally. The dangers of online purchasing include the lack of information on the sellers’ location, the source of their products and the conditions under which the products were manufactured and stored. Products sold online could also potentially be counterfeit or adulterated with undeclared potent ingredients.



Diabetes in midlife could lead to mental decline by 70: Study

Diabetes ages the mind about five years faster than normal, and those diagnosed in their 50s are far more likely to experience mental decline by age 70, researchers said. The study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine was based on more than 15,000 US adults followed from 1987 to 2013.

They found 19 per cent more mental decline than expected in participants with poorly controlled diabetes, and smaller declines for those with controlled diabetes and pre-diabetes. The race of the patients had no factor in their outcomes.



Malays, Indians with Type 2 diabetes more likely to suffer strokes, heart attacks: Study

In a decade-long diabetes study, researchers from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) found that among those with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), Malays and Indians are at higher risk of cardiovascular diseases compared to Chinese patients.Malay patients had two times higher risk while Indians had 1.7 times higher risk of diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, compared to Chinese patients with T2DM, according to findings of a study released by the healthcare cluster that manages KTPH, Alexandra Health.