Fatal Case Reported among Kobayashi Supplement Users (Update 1)

Courtesy of Kobayashi Pharmaceutical
“Beni-koji choleste-help”, the subject of a voluntary recall by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical

Osaka (Jiji Press)—A consumer who was continuously buying a supplement containing “beni koji” red fermented rice made by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co. has died of kidney disease, the Japanese company said Tuesday.

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical is investigating the possible link between the intake of the supplement and the death of the user following a report of the fatal case from the bereaved family.

The company, based in the western city of Osaka, also said that it has received about 50 more reports of hospitalization after the use of its supplements.

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical did not disclose the sex or age of the deceased user, saying that it is checking details.

The user in question bought the supplement for nearly three years from April 2021 to February this year. Company officials are set to meet with the bereaved family Tuesday to ask about details.

Packs of the supplement bought by the user included those with serial numbers that are subject to a recall because they may have contained an ingredient the company suspects to be a substance that caused health problems.

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical on Friday announced the voluntary recall, citing the health hazard possibly caused by beni koji, believed to be effective in lowering bad cholesterol.

On Saturday night, the report about the fatal case was sent by the bereaved family to the company’s online inquiry center.

But it was not until Monday night that the company confirmed the content of the report as it was receiving numerous inquiries.

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical said by Monday that 33 people who consumed products using beni koji had developed kidney or other diseases and that 26 of them were hospitalized. It is recalling some 300,000 packs of three types of five products, warning consumers not to take them.

The ingredient was also supplied to 52 companies including food makers, forcing them to voluntarily recall their products containing the ingredient.