Red Rice Yeast Extract: Dangerous or Unregulated in Dietary Supplements?

Avoid using supplements with red rice yeast

Following reports of the death of five individuals in Japan who took nutritional supplements to lower cholesterol, Mako Health contacted the Ministry of Health to address the issue. In response, the Ministry of Health in Japan issued a wholesale recall of nutritional supplements produced by the Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Company last week.

The ongoing investigation into the incident suggests that there is a connection between the consumption of nutritional supplements containing red rice yeast extract and the reported deaths and hospitalizations. Thousands of complaints from consumers regarding health effects such as changes in urine color, swollen limbs, fatigue, and kidney problems have been reported to the company’s headquarters in Osaka. Additionally, other products containing the same ingredient, such as miso paste, crackers, and salad dressings, have also been recalled.

In Israel, the Ministry of Health states that red rice yeast extract is not approved for use in dietary supplements. No adverse effects have been reported in Israel from consuming these nutritional supplements purchased from foreign websites, but commercial import of such supplements requires prior approval from the National Food Service. Importers must provide evidence of a product’s safety and compliance with food legislation before approval is granted.

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