Examining the Halalness of Supplements and Drugs

Medicines and health supplements are products that are widely consumed by the public. However, considering that the product uses raw materials, most of which are still imported, it is necessary to pay attention to its halalness.

Health supplements have become a lifestyle trend. With advertisements that are very massive and claimed to be able to increase stamina and maintain a healthy body, health supplements are now a daily consumption for anyone who wants health and fitness. It must be observed, not all health supplements have been certified halal.

A less healthy lifestyle than most people, including unbalanced nutrition (high in fat, salt, sugar, calories and poor in nutrients), instant foods that are high in BTP (food additives) such as food coloring, preservatives, artificial sweeteners. In addition, stress, lack of rest, polluted environment, exposure to chemicals (drugs) without a doctor’s instructions, contamination of germs and bacteria.

By changing a healthy lifestyle alone, the body has not been able to neutralize free radicals that have already entered the body.This is where it is important to take health supplements. Health experts advise, to prevent metabolic syndrome can be done by living a healthy lifestyle and taking health supplements regularly.

The consumption of dietary supplements is expected to help people get a better life so that they can avoid various diseases that require the use of drugs. Nowadays, drugs come up with various variants to treat various diseases.

On the other hand, there are products whose ingredients and production processes are relatively the same but different designations, namely drugs. Drugs and supplements are two different products and the benefits are different when consumed. Dietary supplements are products that contain one or a combination of ingredients used to increase the number of nutritional conspirators (AKG), namely vitamins, minerals, plants or ingredients derived from plants, as well as amino acids. Dietary supplements can be in the form of tablets, lozenges, powders, capsules, as well as liquid products in the form of syrups or solutions.

As for medicine, it serves more to overcome, relieve or cure a disease. In terms of production process and raw materials, medicines and health supplements are relatively the same.Drugs and supplements are prepared with various raw materials, auxiliaries and auxiliary materials. Data from the Indonesian Ministry of Health in 2017, around 90 percent of the raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry in Indonesia came from imports.

According to the Director General of Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Development, Ministry of Health, Maura Linda Sitanggang, the largest import of pharmaceutical raw materials is currently from China, which is around 60 percent. The rest are from India about 25 percent, and the rest are from Europe and America. All importing countries are in fact non-Muslim countries that are less concerned about the halal status of drugs. Therefore, we need to understand the content in drugs and supplements, so that we can avoid drugs and supplements that are not necessarily halal.

According to Chilwan Pandji Drs., Apt, MSc., Teaching lecturer at the Faculty of Industrial Technology, Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), when viewed from the source, drugs and supplements are divided into two, namely herbs and chemicals.

Herbal medicines and supplements contain plant extracts, mineral ingredients, galenic preparations or a mixture of these ingredients that are processed in such a way that they turn into pills or powders without a mixture of chemicals. Meanwhile, chemical drugs or supplements contain ingredients that are mixed and processed with chemical synthesis, so that compounds with certain pharmacological properties are obtained.

In the process, both herbal and chemical, supplements and drugs involve various main ingredients and other auxiliary materials, one of which is a solvent that functions to dissolve other substances that are generally in the form of solids without undergoing chemical changes. In the pharmaceutical field, the solvents commonly used are polar (soluble in alcohol and water), semi-polar (less soluble and alcohol) and non-polar (which can dissolve oil).

Take a Look at the Halalness

In terms of halalness, according to Chilwan Pandji, drugs and supplements have several critical points, both in herbal and chemical forms. Critical points that must be observed include:

Raw materials

It is the main ingredient of drug makers as well as supplements. In terms of origin, raw materials can be of both animal and vegetable origin. If the raw materials come from pigs or their derivatives, or animals that are not necessarily halal, then obviously, the products they produce will definitely be illegitimate. As for if it comes from halal animals, it must be ensured that it is sourced from animals slaughtered in syar’i.

Auxiliary materials

Similar to raw materials, auxiliary materials must also be ensured to be halal, although their role is not as much as raw materials. In synthetic drugs and supplements, the critical point on the auxiliary ingredients needs to be considered. For example, tablet coatings that may be derived from gelatin which must be ensured to be of kosher origin and slaughtered in syar’i.

Similarly, chemicals that are liquid, when they have to be stored in the shell of a capsule, it is necessary to pay attention to whether it comes from gelatin or material of plant origin. The use of emulsifiers also needs to be considered to be derived from vegetable or halal animals slaughtered in syar’i.

Helper Materials

One of them is solvents. If the solvent is alcohol then it is necessary to ensure that the source is not derived from khamr.

Capsule Shell

The shell of the capsule is usually made of gelatin. Gelatin capsule technology was chosen by pharmaceutical manufacturers because it excels in its bioavailability, in addition to being easier to modify in terms of its biopharmaceuticals.

The raw materials of gelatin are the skin and bones of mammalian animals, such as cows and pigs. Broadly speaking, the source of gelatin for the manufacture of capsules is divided into type A gelatin derived from pig skin and type B gelatin derived from cow skin and bones.

Production Process

For synthetic drugs and supplements, since it involves only chemical reactions, it is unlikely that there will be contamination of non-kosher products. However, in herbal medicine, the extraction process really needs to be considered halal, especially if the extraction comes from animals, it must be ensured that it comes from halal animals.

Source : Jurnal Halal No. 130

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