Black Licorice Kills Man When He Eats Too Much Of It


Halloween is right around the corner so you'll likely soon be hearing warnings about not eating too much candy, but usually they are just to prevent a stomach ache. However, far worse things can happen from too much candy, especially if that candy is black licorice. In fact, it turns out a Massachusetts man died last year from eating an excessive amount of it.

The New England Journal of Medicine reports that every day for the two weeks leading up to his death, the man had a bag and a half of black licorice. However, because the candy contains something called glycyrrhizic acid, it can lower the body's potassium to a deadly level, causing issues with your heart's rhythm. That's what happened to the man, who collapsed in a fast food restaurant and died the next day. Doctors discovered his potassium was dangerously low, which led to heart problems. In the article, cardiologist Dr. Neel Butala explained, "Even a small amount of licorice you eat can increase your blood pressure a little bit."

The Food and Drug Administration is aware of black licorice's qualities and warned that eating two ounces of the candy a day for two weeks could cause an irregular heartbeat. The Hershey Company, which makes Twizzlers, also weighed in, with a spokesman telling the Associated Press that all of the candy maker's products "are safe to eat and formulated in full compliance with FDA regulations." However, they did note that candy "should be enjoyed in moderation."

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