FDA warns black licorice can cause heart problems in adults


black licorice
Gross.

Flickr/Dawn
Huczek



  • Black Licorice contains the sweetening
    compound glycyrrhizin, which can decrease
    potbadium levels in the body, according to the US Food and Drug
    Administration.

  • That temporary potbadium deficiency can
    cause abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure,
    and even congestive heart failure.


  • People over 40 with a history of high blood
    pressure and heart disease are especially at
    risk. 


 

Reasonable people have agreed for decades that black
licorice is the most disgusting, repulsive candy on the
planet. 

The US Food and Drug Administration is finally backing us up.

In a
report released Monday
, the FDA warns, “if
you’re 40 or older, eating 2 ounces of black licorice a day for
at least two weeks could land you in the hospital with an
irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia.” 

Two ounces is only about five Twizzler-sized
ropes of licorice, or nine Red-Vine-sized pieces.

The sweetening compound in licorice root, glycyrrhizin,
is the danger: Glycyrrhetic
acid
 can elevate sodium levels and reduce potbadium in
the body. That temporary potbadium drop can cause
some people to experience abnormal heart rhythms, high blood
pressure, swelling, lethargy, and congestive heart
failure.

According to the FDA’s Linda Katz, potbadium
levels in licorice-eaters are usually restored with no permanent
health problems once people stop eating the black
stuff. 

But not always.

The FDA said that last year one “black licorice aficionado”
had “a problem” after the person ate too much of it.

Traditional Chinese doctors have used licorice to treat
gastric ulcers
for thousands of years, but the National
Institutes of Health cautions there’s insufficient data to know
whether or not licorice root is an effective treatment for any
condition. 

Regardless, the reasons why anyone would ingest that
foul-tasting rope regularly enough to cause a potbadium
problem remains a mystery to level-headed scientists
everywhere. 


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