3 of 5 Deceased After Taking Benikoji Supplement Had Pre-Existing Diseases, Health Ministry, Japanese Society of Nephrology Say

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Masaomi Nangaku, center, president of the Japanese Society of Nephrology, and others attend a press conference at the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Three of the five people who died after taking Kobayashi Pharmaceutical’s supplement containing benikoji red rice mold had pre-existing diseases such as prostate cancer, the health ministry and Japanese Society of Nephrology said Tuesday.

The two parties also revealed in a press conference that three of the 95 patients who complained of adverse health effects from the supplement had been undergoing dialysis due to severe kidney disorders.

The information of the five deceased was reported by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical to the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry: three of them were in their 70s, one in their 90s. The age of one individual remains unknown. Three were female and two were male.