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

In Japan, a recall has been issued by the Ministry of Health for health supplements containing red yeast rice, or benikoji, after reports of kidney-related complaints from customers. This recall was ordered following two deaths and over 100 hospitalizations linked to the supplements.

The supplements in question are marketed as products that can help lower cholesterol levels. However, Kobayashi Pharmaceutical, based in Osaka, is currently investigating a potential link between the products and kidney issues. The company has issued an apology and advised users not to consume the products in the future.

The Ministry of Health has instructed local authorities to collect information on any health damage linked to these products, including more than 40 other products from different companies containing benikoji that have also been recalled. This includes miso paste, crackers, and vinegar dressing.

Health Minister Keizo Takemi has urged Kobayashi Pharmaceutical to provide information promptly and has called on the public to stop using the supplements. Medical studies suggest that red yeast rice can be effective in lowering cholesterol but also come with a risk of organ damage, depending on its composition.

This recall is the first major one involving domestically produced supplements in Japan. While all the products were made in Japan, it is unknown if any of the raw materials used were imported. Authorities are urging the public to avoid products containing benikoji to prevent further health issues.

By Samantha Johnson

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