FDA warns candy lovers: Too much black licorice could land you in hospital



As trick-or-treaters finish their rounds this Halloween, children and parents will end up with stashes of candy lasting days or even weeks to come.

But don’t binge eat it – especially black licorice, the Food and Drug Administration warned this week.

Experts with the FDA advise moderation after finding that adults over 40 who eat two ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could experience irregular heart rhythm, arrhythmia or even a trip to the hospital, according to news release posted Monday.

The agency based their findings off medical journals, and reported that the danger in black licorice lies in the compound glycyrrhizin. Glycyrrhizin is a sweetening compound that can drop the body’s potassium levels, leading to heart issues.

The effect isn’t permanent, CNN points out, and potassium levels return to normal soon after one is done eating the licorice.

Here are the recommendations, courtesy of the FDA:

  • No matter what your age, don’t eat large amounts of black licorice at one time.
  • If you have been eating a lot of black licorice and have an irregular heart rhythm or muscle weakness, stop eating it immediately and contact your healthcare provider.
  • Black licorice can interact with some medications, herbs and dietary supplements. Consult a health care professional if you have questions about possible interactions with a drug or supplement you take.

Of course, it’s no surprise that binge-eating candy is bad for you. BusinessInsider on Tuesday published a list of the 10 healthiest and 10 unhealthiest candies, taking nutritional information into account. Take 5 and Smarties were the healthiest options; Sweetarts Chews and 3 Musketeers were the worst for you.


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