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Massachusetts Man Dies From Eating Too Much Licorice

Black licorice Photo Credit: Pixabay
Too much black licorice can be deadly. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: FDA

A Massachusetts man has died due to overconsumption of a candy - black licorice.

The 54-year-old man ate a bag and a half of the candies every day for two weeks prior to his death, the New York Post is reporting.

Licorice contains the sweetener glycyyhizic acid, which can deplete a person’s potassium levels and contribute to heart problems, high blood pressure, edema, and lethargy, doctors said in a New England Journal of Medicine article that came out Wednesday, Sept. 23.

When the man died - he collapsed inside a fast food restaurant - doctors said he had extremely low potassium levels, which led to heart rhythm problems.

The FDA actually has a warning out for black licorice - the red kind is okay. If you are age 40 or older, eating 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could land you in the hospital.

If you’re going to eat licorice, the FDA recommends

No matter your age, don’t eat large amounts of black licorice at one time

If you did eat a lot of black licorice and are experiencing irregular heartbeats or muscle weakness - stop eating the candy and call a health care provider

Black licorice can interact with some medications, herbs, and dietary supplements. Consult a health care professional if you have questions. 

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