An Ilorin-based medical doctor, Darasimi Bello, has warned people to be cautious when taking food supplements as it could cause more harm than good.
Bello told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Ilorin that though the products should be harmless, certain medical conditions do not allow for their intake.
He advised that people should endeavour to consult with their doctors before taking any supplement, especially when nursing a particular medical condition.
“Truly, these supplements are made of herbs, but some may not be safe, especially if you have certain medical conditions or take some medications.
“The best thing is to talk with your doctor before taking any supplement because you cannot be so sure of yourself,” Bello said.
He noted that some common supplements which have been overused should be taken cautiously.
“The common ginger that people take to ease nausea brought on by surgery, chemotherapy, motion sickness or arthritis should not be taken by someone that have gallstones or take blood thinners.
“This is because ginger can cause problems with blood clotting, heart rhythms, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
“The same thing goes for garlic because it thins the blood; though it helps with high blood pressure, treats cold symptoms and lowers cholesterol, but it can increase your risk of bleeding if you take blood-thinning medications for heart problems,” Bello said.
“Even the popular Aloe Vera that when rubbed on a burn or wound may help it to heal fast or feel better and some people also take it by mouth, can cause an abnormal heart rhythm.
“It may also lower your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.
“So, it is not enough to use supplements without knowing your health condition so that you won’t end up compounding problems for yourself.”