Red mould supplement pill linked to deaths and hospitalisations pulled from shelves in Japan

Supplement Recall in Japan: What You Need to Know About the Risks of Benikoji

In Japan, Kobayashi Company has issued a recall of several health supplement brands that contain the ingredient ‘benikoji’. The recall was ordered by the Japanese government following reports of kidney-related complaints from customers. Two deaths and over 100 hospitalizations were suspected to be linked to the supplements.

The supplements in question contain red yeast rice, also known as “benikoji,” which is believed to be the cause of the health issues. Kobayashi Pharmaceutical, based in Osaka, is investigating the potential connection between their products and the adverse effects on kidneys. The ingredient Monascus purpureus, a red mould commonly used as a food colouring, is found in the recalled supplements.

In addition to Kobayashi’s products, over 40 other brands containing benikoji have also been recalled. Health Minister Keizo Takemi has urged Kobayashi Pharmaceutical to provide information promptly, and the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare is collecting data on potential health damage caused by the supplements.

Kobayashi Company is advising customers to discontinue the use of their products and to refrain from using them in the future. An official from the ministry warned that there may be more victims in the coming days and advised everyone to avoid benikoji, especially those with pre-existing health conditions.

While red yeast rice is known to be an alternative to statins for lowering cholesterol levels, medical studies caution about the risks of organ damage depending on its composition. Though it is unclear if any of the ingredients were imported, this incident marks

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