The Federal Ministry of Health has advised medicines shouldn’t be taken with soft drinks to “prevent unexpected drug-food interactions”.
“We would like to advise all Nigerians to take medicines with potable water. This would help to prevent unexpected drug-food interactions”, said Akinola Boade, director, media and public relations in the ministry. The advisory follows controversy over the ruling on acidic preservatives in Fanta and Sprite, both products of the Nigerian Bottling Company, NBC.
A company, Fijabi Holdings, had sued the NBC claiming laboratory tests done in the UK had proved the two soft drinks could kill, if taken with Vitamin C. But the Ministry of Health clarified the preservatives conform with international practices in food and beverage manufacturing. The Ministry added the NBC complied with international safety standards and put in their products even far less quantity of Benzoic acid and Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) than are stipulated by the international regulatory bodies.
The government however certified the products for consumption.
“For the benefit of the health of all Nigerians, all bottling companies are encouraged to insert advisory warnings on all products as necessary,” the statement concluded.