Black Licorice Health Risks

A recent announcement by the Food and Drug Administration advises consumers of the potential health risks of eating too much black licorice.

The issue is due to glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound found in licorice root. This compound can cause the body’s potassium levels to drop, which may lead to high blood pressure and abnormal heartbeat. It can also lead to water retention and swelling. These conditions could potentially land a person in the emergency room.

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Because of this risk, the FDA has advised that people over the age of 40 should not eat over 2 ounces of black licorice a day.

Despite this warning, consumers should not be overly concerned since this is not a widespread risk. Only one black licorice case was reported in the last year.

Licorice-lovers can also find relief in knowing that once you stop consuming licorice, your potassium levels go right back up and there are no permanent health effects. Plus, many licorice-flavored products don’t contain any actual licorice, but rather flavored with anise-oil.

For several years, licorice root has been used as a remedy for a wide variety of health problems, such as heartburn, stomach ulcers, sore throat, cough, and some viral infections. However, there is no evidence for these health benefits.

Consumers should also keep in mind that black licorice can interfere with some medications. These include birth control pills and heart medications. It can also effect many dietary and herbal supplements, so consumers should contact their doctor for any concerns.

Sources:
FDA Warns Against Too Much Black Licorice

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