A Matter Of Time

Question: Since my 68-year-old mum had a knee surgery, she has accumulated a stockpile of calcium supplements — from the clinic, as well as free medication. Some are close to expiry, and I don’t think she can consume all before their expiry dates. Are ‘expired’ supplements safe to take?

Answer: Health supplements may lose their effectiveness and safety over time, and an expiry date indicates the last day that the manufacturer guarantees the full safety and efficacy of a supplement. Hence it is not advisable to consume supplements after their expiry date. My advice is to discard them.

Health supplements past their expiry date should be discarded.

Do also note that heat and moisture may damage or reduce the effectiveness of supplements and medicines. So do not expose them to sunlight or store them in improper storage places such as in damp bathroom cabinets. Instead, keep them in a cool, dry place such as a bedroom drawer.

Ms Neo Surong
Senior Pharmacist
National Healthcare Group Pharmacy

Cracking The Egg Code

Question: I have come across medical research regarding eggs online stating that a “high-cholesterol diet should not be associated with cardiovascular disease” and that “dietary cholesterol only has a minor effect on serum cholesterol”. Does this mean that I can eat what I want without having to worry about a heart attack?

Answer: Dietary cholesterol is a type of cholesterol that comes from food, while serum cholesterol is in the bloodstream. Indeed, dietary cholesterol has a minor effect on serum cholesterol. As part of healthy eating guidelines, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) advises individuals to consume less than 300mg of cholesterol per day and less than four egg yolks per week.

Eat healthy to avoid high cholesterol

It is the saturated fats and trans fats that will raise the bad cholesterol in our body, thus increasing the risk of getting heart disease and stroke. You should limit the intake of food high in saturated fats such as fatty meats, poultry skins, butter, full-cream dairy products, as well as food with coconut, palm oil and cream, and food high in trans fats such as deep-fried food, fast food, cakes and pastries.

You can reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as heart diseases by eating healthily and keeping active.

Ms Liow Hui Shi
National Healthcare Group Polyclinics

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