OCT 30, 2017 06:37 PM PDT

Black Licorice: A Tricky Treat

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

The Food & Drug Administration has warned people not to eat too much of one common, if not commonly loved, Halloween candy. A compound derived from licorice root, glycyrrhizin, is found in black licorice, and eating too much of it can cause levels of potassium to fall in the body. That can lead to abnormal heart rhythms in some people, along with lethargy, edema or swelling, high blood pressure, and even congestive heart failure.

Several journal articles have connected health problems in people over 40 to black licorice, some of them had a history of heart problems. Black licorice is not suspected to cause any permanent damage, however. Potassium levels will usually return to normal when licorice consumption stops.

The FDA suggests that people should not eat too much of it, no matter how old they are. If heart problems are experienced when eating it, stop eating it immediately and call your doctor. It could also interact with medications. While licorice is sometimes used as a folk remedy (and there is currently insufficient data to support conclusions about the veracity of those claims), it is sometimes sold without the potentially harmful molecule, as deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
NOV 16, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 16, 2019
Will Banana Crops Survive a Changing Climate?
Climate change impacts, most notably rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, are impacting agricultural production around the world. It&rs...
NOV 16, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 16, 2019
How Large Solar Storms Can Impact Earth's Power Grid
The Sun is a powerful ball of energy, and with that in mind, it should come as no surprise to anyone that it can sometimes become unstable. Over time, the...
NOV 16, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 16, 2019
NASA's Dawn Mission Taught Us Much About the Asteroid Vesta
In 2011, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft arrived at its destination, enabling planetary scientists with the American space agency to study a particularly capt...
NOV 16, 2019
Cardiology
NOV 16, 2019
What is Polycythemia Vera?
Polycythemia Vera (PV) is a slow-growing cancer of the blood. The cancer is characterized by an overproduction of blood cells within the bone marrow. Too m...
NOV 16, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 16, 2019
The Great Barrier Reef is Disappearing, and Here's Why
Most people think of the Great Barrier Reef as a single, massive coral reef off the coast of Australia, but it isn’t. Instead, this beautiful underwa...
NOV 16, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 16, 2019
What Makes Cheetahs Such Adept Predators?
The humble cheetah has earned its reputation as the world’s fastest land animal. This large cat is capable of accelerating to speeds of up to 60 mile...
Loading Comments...