Japan discontinues red mold supplement tablets linked to deaths and hospitalizations | Health News

Kobayashi & Co. has recalled a supplement brand containing the ingredient “red yeast rice” after receiving kidney complaints from customers.

Japan has ordered the recall of a health supplement believed to have caused two deaths and more than 100 hospitalizations.

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical recalled three brands including red yeast rice. The Osaka-based pharmaceutical company announced Wednesday that it is investigating a possible link between the product and adverse kidney effects.

Red yeast rice contains red mold, red mold, which is also used as a food coloring agent. “Red Yeast Choleste Help” and two other products are advertised to help lower cholesterol.

“The total number of people suspected of dying is [is now] “We have also identified 106 potentially related hospitalizations,” government spokesperson Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters.

According to a Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare official, in addition to Kobayashi supplements, more than 40 products from other companies that contain red yeast rice were recalled, including miso, crackers, and vinegar dressing.

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Keizo Takemi said on Tuesday that the government had instructed Kobayashi Pharmaceutical to “promptly provide information.”

The ministry also expressed its condolences to the victims, saying it had “instructed local governments across the country to collect information on health hazards.”

Mr. Kobayashi is investigating the matter. The recalled products could be purchased over the counter without a prescription.

The company issued a statement apologizing and asking customers not to use the supplement.

“Please stop taking our products and do not use them in the future.”

Ministry officials warned that there could be more casualties in the coming days and urged everyone to avoid Beni Koji. People with health problems, such as weak kidneys, may be especially vulnerable, he said.

It is unclear whether the raw materials were imported, but the products were all made in Japan. According to Japanese media reports, there have been recalls of imported health supplements in the past, but this is the first large-scale recall of domestically produced supplements.

Medical research describes red yeast rice as an alternative to statins for lowering high cholesterol, but also warns of the risk of organ damage depending on its chemical composition.

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