Japan Today
Image: Screenshot from Kobayashi Pharmaceutical website
national

2 more deaths linked to Kobayashi Pharma dietary supplements

35 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

35 Comments
Login to comment

My ghosh! How terrible for these victims just trying to improve their health. Really shocking as I use various supplements and assumed they were safer than prescription medications.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Good Lord, this is a disaster on so many levels.

Not least to the poor families suffering right now but also more broadly, it undermines the trust in Kobayashi and the pharmaceutical industry in Japan and the governments ability to protect citizens from harm.

How will the Japanese govt and public react?!

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said most of the reports of people experiencing ill health after taking the supplements related to those made since September last year.

A shareholder in his 70s voiced his anger that it took the company two months to go public about the issue after it was notified about the health problems in January, saying its actions came too "late."

He seems to have a good point. Something is starting to smell here.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

We take supplements. Mostly fish oil, vitamin D&E.

None from Kobayashi.

Medical drugs are tested for ten years and certified. That is not required for supplements.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

wallaceToday  04:58 pm JST

We take supplements. Mostly fish oil, vitamin D&E.

None from Kobayashi.

Medical drugs are tested for ten years and certified. That is not required for supplements.

Same. I take half a dozen different supplements, including vitamin D, fish oil, magnesium, etc.

Most of them are from the US where they are also classified under food and not highly regulated.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I regularly take supplements. Not Kobayashi, Asahi, Suntory, Kirin and now and then Guinness.

About 95% water for hydration and the alcohol content kills germs.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

> Mr KiplingToday  05:06 pm JST

I regularly take supplements. Not Kobayashi, Asahi, Suntory, Kirin and now and then Guinness.

About 95% water for hydration and the alcohol content kills germs.

Your lucky.

Not quite a 'supplment'' but I hear you.

I quit all alcohol after this compelling report was released.

I want to increase my chances of seeing my grandchildren. :)

No safe level of alcohol, scientific study concludes - UW Medicine | Newsroom

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

What I don't undrstand is that these users are saying they ordered this stuff from Kobayashi Pharma as a result of blood tests and 診断 with their doctor. If the test showed that they needed something why wasn't a prescription med prescribed, instead of the patiet buying this product on their own?

No question that Kobayashi Pharma needs to take full responsibilty here. But did these patients inform their doctors that they were taking these "supplements"? Seems to me like this whole issue is being handled in a vacuum. Kidney failure is something that the patiemt won'tr realize until it's almost too late. But if they were getting blood tests, weren't their doctors seeing the creatinine levels and eGFR?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Most supplements have no effect other than draining your wallet. That is the true big pharma people should be angry about.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

TheDalaiLamasBifocalsToday  06:13 pm JST

Because Covid vaccines work. And yes they are researching into the few cases of deaths from the vaccines.

Most supplements have no effect other than draining your wallet. That is the true big pharma people should be angry about.

Supplements can be really helpful if you have a diagnosed deficiency, certain health conditions, or are part of a group with specific nutritional needs (like older adults or pregnant women).

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I discuss with my doctors at my two monthly visits, the supplements I take.

"Red yeast rice is capable of lowering blood cholesterol levels and total blood cholesterol levels."

Last year my doctor gave me drugs to reduce my cholesterol and another for my blood sugar. Both are less expensive than supplements. They did the trick. My cholesterol and blood sugar are now normal.

I have never tried the red yeast rice.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

wallaceToday  06:38 pm JST

I discuss with my doctors at my two monthly visits, the supplements I take.

"Red yeast rice is capable of lowering blood cholesterol levels and total blood cholesterol levels."

Last year my doctor gave me drugs to reduce my cholesterol and another for my blood sugar. Both are less expensive than supplements. They did the trick. My cholesterol and blood sugar are now normal.

I have never tried the red yeast rice.

Not sure if you want to go down the realities of choletrol and whether we really need to lower it or not but I did and found that for the vast majority of people, high chol,dweterol is not only bad, but it is in fact good, according to a number of research studies.

Do they give you Statins?

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

wallaceToday  06:38 pm JST

I discuss with my doctors at my two monthly visits, the supplements I take.

"Red yeast rice is capable of lowering blood cholesterol levels and total blood cholesterol levels."

Last year my doctor gave me drugs to reduce my cholesterol and another for my blood sugar. Both are less expensive than supplements. They did the trick. My cholesterol and blood sugar are now normal.

I have never tried the red yeast rice.

Not sure if you want to go down the rabbit hole of cholesterol and whether we really needed to lower it or not, but I did. I found that for the vast majority of people, high cholesterol is not only not bad, but it is in fact good, according to a number of recent research studies.

Do they give you Statins?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

My good cholesterol was fine. (HDL). My bad cholesterol (LDL low-density lipoprotein) was too high. I have a great team of doctors who saved my life and I trust them. They discuss every aspect of my medication. The local pharmacist LINES me once a week to check if I'm having any side effects. Cool.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

My only supplements are coffee, chocolate, some booze once in a while and sport drinks.

I do not need any dietary supplements and all that over the counter stuffs that do promise benefits have always been suspicious to me.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Supplements are far more dangerous than prescription drugs. There are basically no regulations surrounding supplements and most are not tested at all. You have no idea what kind of harmful ingredients are in them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

daikakaToday  07:30 pm JST

Supplements are far more dangerous than prescription drugs. There are basically no regulations surrounding supplements and most are not tested at all. You have no idea what kind of harmful ingredients are in them.

Ingredients are listed on the container. Some manufacturers have their products independently tested.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

@Shadows of the Rising Sun

Stop it you need help.

I found that for the vast majority of people, high cholesterol is not only not bad, but it is in fact good, according to a number of recent research studies.

BS! There is absolutely no scientific consensus about this and this theory is mainly supported by the carnivore and keto diet zealots. Multiple randomized control studies point to the opposite. I would not bet on the few poorly done observational studies out there supporting your crazy theory.

Supplements can be really helpful if you have a diagnosed deficiency

No. Not a single randomized control study showed that this product or any other supplement can lower cholesterol. This is nonsense.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

So far, Kobayashi has handled this crisis fairly well. Kobayashi took action as soon as it found out about the illness. Well done!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Kobayashi isn't the lonely company selling red yeast rice. Plenty online.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Acute Kidney Failure is in a totally different league from worrying about cholesterol levels. You can die in a matter of weeks.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

OssanAmerica

What I don't undrstand is that these users are saying they ordered this stuff from Kobayashi Pharma as a result of blood tests and 診断 with their doctor. If the test showed that they needed something why wasn't a prescription med prescribed, instead of the patiet buying this product on their own?

Because their doctors may have recommended taking a supplement rather than a prescription medicine, if their cholesterol levels were not too bad. Many people find fish oil supplements to be enough to keep their blood lipids under control. They work great for me.

Also, prescription medicines for cholesterol, such as statins, can have negative side effects such as muscle cramps and pain. Unfortunately, red yeast rice supplements like the Kobayashi one, can also cause similar side effects due to their similarity to statins. And, if you add in the possibility of contamination with red yeast rice, statins are possibly a better choice, if fish oil supplements don't work.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not the first and it wont be the last, so many times seen these so called diet pills kill of make people sick and in many cases do exactly the opposite. when all you have to do is just LEARN What, When, and How much TO EAT.

Go to seminar where pro's teach how to diet, never purchase any treatments because they simply don't work.

Diet and foods consumption is all in your head and once you learn how to control it you will see positive results.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

daito_hak

"Supplements can be really helpful if you have a diagnosed deficiency"

No. Not a single randomized control study showed that this product or any other supplement can lower cholesterol. This is nonsense.

What's nonsense is your comment about supplements not proven to lower cholesterol.

Red yeast rice contains monacolin K, the very same active ingredient in prescription statin medications. That is why it works to lower cholesterol, and also can cause some of the same negative side effects. Unfortunately, red yeast rice supplements are often contaminated with citrinin, such as Kobayashi's product.

Fish oil supplements containing moderate-to-high amounts of EPA and DHA have also been proven to lower cholesterol. I take one myself, and it has had a very real positive effect on my cholesterol levels.

That being said, people who would take red yeast rice are probably better off with a low dosage statin, as there is almost zero chance of contamination, and the cost for a prescription drug would be most likely cheaper with insurance than an over-the-counter supplement.

If they really want to avoid drugs, they should try a high potency fish oil supplement, rather than red yeast rice. But, if it doesn't work, they should take the prescription drug. High cholesterol is a leading factor in heart attack and stroke.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This foods with functional claims system was started under Abe regime, it was also just prioritized corporations profit than safety after all.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Health Quackery

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

garypenToday  09:32 pm JST

OssanAmerica

What I don't undrstand is that these users are saying they ordered this stuff from Kobayashi Pharma as a result of blood tests and 診断 with their doctor. If the test showed that they needed something why wasn't a prescription med prescribed, instead of the patiet buying this product on their own?

Because their doctors may have recommended taking a supplement rather than a prescription medicine, if their cholesterol levels were not too bad.

I find this very hard to believe. I've been on Statins for 25 years. I've never seen any doctor (in US or Japan) who would actually recommend a "supplement" if the bloodwork showed the slightest need to control anything.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think, like everyone else too I can die very well alone, so there's no need for accelerating or supplementing help.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

When I mention this to some people, they blame it upon the Vaccinations....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Medical drugs are tested for ten years and certified.

Except when they are not. Look go what happened during a certain recently pandemic, for example.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

daito_hakMar. 28  08:04 pm JST

@Shadows of the Rising Sun

Stop it you need help.

I found that for the vast majority of people, high cholesterol is not only not bad, but it is in fact good, according to a number of recent research studies.

BS! There is absolutely no scientific consensus about this and this theory is mainly supported by the carnivore and keto diet zealots. Multiple randomized control studies point to the opposite. I would not bet on the few poorly done observational studies out there supporting your crazy theory.

This is not true. You need to read a little more widely on the issue. Most of the claims that high cholesterol is bad are based on poor early research followed by interpreting the data in a way to promote the statin industry.

The walls will soon come crumbling down around the high cholesterol con and statins, though don't expect any accountability.

Supplements can be really helpful if you have a diagnosed deficiency

No. Not a single randomized control study showed that this product or any other supplement can lower cholesterol. This is nonsense.

Supplements are a grey area, with some studies concluding they work and others showing they don't work like a lot of drugs on the market. Individual repsosnes will vary.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I've never taken these supplements, and never have taken medication to control my cholesterol. Never had any problems with cholesterol either.

I highly recommend olive oil.

Avocado toast for breakfast is a nice addition if one gets tired of oatmeal.

I've been using condensed milk in my coffee lately a la Saigon style.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

OssanAmericaMar. 28  10:40 pm JST

> I find this very hard to believe. I've been on Statins for 25 years.

Sorry to hear that.

Doctors have tried pushing statins on all of of our family numerous times because we have very high cholesterol.

None of us are overweight, and none of us have had heart disease (except for my grandmother, who died of it aged 88). All my grandparents lived past 85 years old with high cholesterol and never took a single horrid statin.

Your family may be different, but be very sceptical of statins, and the claim that high cholesterol is a problem because it is not for everyone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have to take many prescription medications every day due to my on going health problems, but I have never taken any supplements simply because I would not trust them. Most if not all, are made and produced for one reason only....Profit.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

TokyoOldManT

When I mention this to some people, they blame it upon the Vaccinations....

Those people are idiots.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites