Red yeast rice use sends nine more people in Japan to hospital

Urgent Warning Issued for Kobayashi’s Beni Koji as 173 Companies Monitor Customers for Health Issues

On April 3, the Japanese Ministry of Health issued an urgent warning to 173 beni-koji distribution companies to monitor their customers for any health problems related to the product. This came after Japan reported 5 deaths and 166 hospitalizations linked to Kobayashi’s beni koji, a functional food launched in February 2021. Meanwhile, Taiwanese health authorities also reported 11 cases of health issues related to Kobayashi’s beni koji, with the possibility of widespread damage in the area.

Kobayashi sold about one million packs of the product by the end of February this year. However, many users developed kidney disease later on. The company recently discovered puberulic acid, a natural compound derived from green mold, in the production of beni-koji, which the Japanese Ministry of Health identified as a substance that can cause toxicity in users.

The Food Safety Department advised that these products have not been approved for circulation in Vietnam and warned against purchasing them from social networks or by hand. If these products are found on the market, the authorities should be notified for legal handling. The majority of previously hospitalized patients experienced symptoms such as irritability, loss of appetite, abnormal urine, and kidney disorders. The health status of the nine newly hospitalized individuals is currently unknown.

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