TOKYO: Japanese drugmaker Kobayashi Pharmaceutical on Friday confirmed a fifth death related to its dietary supplements with red yeast rice, or beni-koji, produced by the company, reported Xinhua.

The Osaka-based pharmaceutical giant has initiated recalls of several products, including its “beni-koji choleste help” supplement, a type of granules advertised with the effect of lowering cholesterol levels, after receiving reports of illness.

Beni-koji, linked to health issues, especially kidney damage, was manufactured at Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's Osaka factory. While the company suggested that unexpected mold-derived ingredients may have caused the problem, no specific cause has been identified. -Bernama