Health Care

Candy Overdose? FDA Issues Warning On Black Licorice Dangers

Candy Overdose? FDA Issues Warning On Black Licorice Dangers”

The day before the holiday, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning highlighting the dangers of black licorice.

The warning comes after the FDA received a report in 2016 of a black licorice lover who had problems after eating the candy. Eating too much could cause irregular heartbeats and other issues in people over 40.

Still, the FDA felt compelled to create an entire spooky video to warn kiddos away from consuming the candy, complete with zombies, witches and bats.

The agency's experts determined that the candy contains enough of the sweetening compound glycyrrhizin - derived from the licorice root - to significantly lower the body's potassium levels.

So, if you're going to go the candy route this Halloween, pick anything out of the trick or treat basket to eat, as long as it's not black licorice! "When that happens, some people experience abnormal heart rhythms, as well as high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy, and congestive heart failure". Licorice root that is sold as a dietary supplement can be found with the glycyrrhizin removed, resulting in a product known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL, NIH says. FDA's Linda Katz, M.D says potassium levels are usually restored when consumption of the old school favorite stops, with no lasting health problems.

So what is black licorice's deadly secret? "Instead, they contain anise oil, which has the same smell and taste".

Though it may seem like black licorice, along with its cheapskate companions Bit O'Honey and candy corn, would be a recipe for getting your house egged or toilet-papered, it could - in extreme cases - also mean a trip to the emergency room. Consult a health care professional if you have questions about possible interactions with a drug or supplement you take.

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