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Health advice concerning adult milk products

  • 2006.12.15

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) today (December 15) received notification from the World Health Organisation about a statement issued by the New Zealand authorities that the level of Vitamin K contained in milk and yogurt under the brand name, Anlene Phyto K, could pose health risks to those taking a blood thinning drug, Warfarin.

"People taking this drug are advised to consult their physicians before consuming the said products as Vitamin K might interfere with the efficacy of Warfarin. As Warfarin users need to maintain a constant dietary intake of Vitamin K, so if they are regular consumers of the said products, they should also consult their doctors before changing their intake of these products," a CFS spokesman said.

"Vitamin K is a nutrient that naturally occurs in some foods. It is also sometimes used to enrich the nutrient content of food. The presence of Vitamin K in food would not pose adverse health effects to an average person.

"In milk, the usual Vitamin K content is low. According to risk assessment by the New Zealand authorities, the milk and yogurt products in question are fortified with levels of Vitamin K which could affect patients taking Warfarin," he said.

The CFS has contacted the local importer and learned that four milk products under Anlene Phyto K are available in the local market. They are Anlene High Calcium Non Fat Milk Powder, Anlene Gold High Calcium Non Fat Milk Powder, Anlene High Calcium Low Fat Milk Drink and Anlene Gold High Calcium Low Fat Milk Drink. According to the importer, yogurt product under Anlene sold in Hong Kong is not fortified with Vitamin K.

"We understand the label of the products in question will be changed to include a message to Warfarin users regarding the presence of Vitamin K," the spokesman said.

The CFS has also notified relevant parties, including the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority, for any necessary follow-up action.

Reprinted from HKSAR Government web page: