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More Japanese individuals hospitalized due to red yeast rice consumption

On April 3, the Japanese Ministry of Health issued a warning to 173 beni-koji distribution companies to closely monitor their customers for any health issues related to Kobayashi’s beni koji. Since March 27, there have been 5 reported deaths linked to this functional food, and on April 1, health authorities in Taiwan reported 11 cases of health problems associated with Kobayashi’s beni koji, with one individual purchasing the product in Japan.

Kobayashi introduced the product “beni-koji choleste help” in February 2021 and sold approximately one million packs by the end of February this year. However, many users later developed kidney disease. The company identified puberulic acid, a natural compound derived from green mold, in the production of beni-koji which is a potent antibacterial and antimalarial substance that can be toxic to users.

The Food Safety Department advised that these products have not been approved for circulation in Vietnam and warned against purchasing them through social networks. If these products are found in the market, individuals are urged to notify authorities for appropriate action in accordance with the law.

By Samantha Jones

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