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World News April 2, 2024

Unintended substance detected in Kobayashi Pharma’s supplements sparks health concerns in Japan

Japanese drugmaker Kobayashi Pharmaceutical has disclosed the detection of an unintended component called “puberulic acid” in its red yeast rice dietary supplement “beni-koji.” The company revealed this during a panel convened by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Puberulic acid, derived from blue mold, was found in a batch of the supplements associated with health issues. Five deaths and over 100 hospitalizations, with an additional nearly 700 seeking medical advice, have been linked to the product as of Friday. Hospitalized consumers are primarily aged 40 to 70, with deceased individuals aged 70 to over 90. The health ministry mentioned that while puberulic acid has antimalarial properties, its potential health risks, particularly kidney damage, are unclear. The implicated product, “beni-koji choleste help,” is manufactured at Kobayashi Pharmaceutical’s Osaka factory. The company exports some products overseas, and its president stated that compensation for affected consumers, regardless of location, will be equal once causality is established. The company had previously hinted at the presence of a mold-derived substance in batches manufactured between April and December last year, prompting recalls. The source of this unintended substance remains undetermined.

Source – CGTN

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