Control Your Cravings – When Liking Licorice a Little Too Much Becomes Deadlyadmin
The recent death of a 54-year-old Massachusetts man highlights the importance of enjoying sweets in moderation, which is especially important with Halloween right around the corner. According to the man’s family, the patient was eating one or two packages of black licorice-flavored soft candy, which contained glycyrrhizic acid in the three weeks before his death, according to The Boston Globe.
“The key message here for the general public is that food containing licorice can potentially be hazardous to your health if eaten in large quantities,” Dr. Neel Butuala, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital said. “I don’t think people realize it. It’s not labeled that way.”
Glycyrrhizic acid can cause dangerously low potassium, which can lead to heart rhythm and other problems, and electrolyte imbalances. And it isn’t only found in black licorice. Jelly beans, licorice teas, and even some beers all contain the acid.
Butuala also cautions “that it doesn’t take a whole bag of licorice to have an impact on your health. Even a smaller amount ‘every single day for a long period of time can lead to higher blood pressure,’ which can have long-term ill effects.”
Read the full study in the New England Journal of Medicine.