Drinking collagen-infused beverages may pose health risks

Collagen-infused drinks promising glowing skin, glossy hair and unblemished complexion do not give you the fresh-faced appearance of youth and over dosage may lead to long-term health problem, a health education officer from the Health Promotion Centre (HPC) yesterday said.

"The public need to understand that there are problems with the use of such products," said Siti Munawwarah Awg Tarif.

She told The Brunei Times that collagen-infused drinks with anti-oxidants and anti-ageing properties have made its way to the shelves of super markets and pharmacies and now gaining popularity in Brunei.

However, these beauty formulae beverages are often confused by consumers to provide the same, if not better nutrients as organic fruit juices.

"The efficacy of these substances is based on more dubious claims or misinformation," she said.

"Nutrient contents of the juices are higher and more effectively being absorbed by the digestive system compared to beauty drinks," said the health education officer from HPC, adding that consumers of these beauty beverages tend to think nutrients found in the beauty drinks are enough to aid the body, particularly in enhancing the skin.

The health expert also noted that the most common misconception of these beauty beverages is that consumers can just "drink their way" to a more beautiful and healthier skin.

Beauty beverages have been touted for its ability to eliminate "toxins", to control weight, and to improve the workings of the digestive health as well as having the same effect as eating a well-balanced diet.

Siti Munawwarah urged consumers of these beverages to be mindful of the dosage of the vitamins and minerals found in these drinks.

"Over dosage with vitamins and minerals can occur as a result of taking inappropriate combinations of supplements."

"The vitamin content of some beauty drinks may contain higher amount than the stated amount in the nutrition table," said Siti Munawwarah, noting that excessive intakes of minerals and dietary elements can be toxic to the body.

"For example, people may take a combination of multivitamin and at the same time, taking bone and joint health supplements which may result in high consumption of vitamins A and D," adding that this may not only be harmful to one's health but can also have long-term effects.

The health education officer advised Bruneians looking to lead a healthier lifestyle to opt for fruit and vegetables for a more cost-effective diet and most importantly safer results.

"Some people spend considerable sums of money on nutritional supplements. For most, spending the money on fruit and vegetables would be a much better health investment than buying supplements," she said.

Siti Munawwarah also went on to remind that beauty beverages is not a substitute to a healthy meal or a fast track to a radiant skin.

She said there is little evidence that support the effectiveness of the supplements to benefit our health.