Taiwan media: 3 health complaints related to 'beni-koji' supplements reported

A Taiwanese media outlet has reported that three people in Taiwan have now complained of ill health after taking dietary supplements containing "beni-koji," or red yeast rice.

The beni-koji ingredient used in the supplements was produced by the Japanese drugmaker Kobayashi Pharmaceutical. Taiwan's Central News Agency carried the report on Saturday. It cited a senior official at Taiwan's principal consumer protection agency of food, drugs, medical devices and cosmetics.

The media quoted the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration official as saying that his organization was informed of three cases in which people said they experienced unexpected reactions.

One of the three cases had already been reported. A woman in her 70s who lives in the southern city of Kaohsiung was diagnosed with acute kidney failure in March of last year. She reportedly started taking a supplement made by a Taiwanese manufacturer three or four years ago.

Local media say one of the two new cases involves a woman in her 40s who lives in the central city of Taichung. She reportedly said she had been taking a supplement, made by another firm in Taiwan, from July through December 2022. A drop in her kidney function was apparently diagnosed this January.

Officials at the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration say they will direct experts to look into any possible link between those health complaints and the use of products containing Kobayashi pharma's beni-koji.