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Man dies after eating too much black licorice

Posted on Sunday, 27 September, 2020 | Comment icon 14 comments

It might be delicious, but too much can kill you. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Ali K
The popular sweet treat may seem harmless enough, but eating too much of it can literally prove fatal.
Enjoyed around the world, licorice is made from the root of the plant Glycyrrhiza glabra which also happens to contain glycyrrhizic acid - a substance known to cause a number of side-effects if consumed in large quantities including hypertension, hypokalemia and even renal failure.

These risks were brought into sharp focus this week when a 54-year-old construction worker in the United States actually collapsed and died after suffering a cardiac arrest attributed to his penchant for eating one-and-a-half bags of licorice every single day.

Of particular note was the fact that he had recently switched his habit from eating red licorice twists to black ones just a few weeks beforehand, presumably increasing his glycyrrhizic acid intake.
He was deemed to have suffered from hypokalemia - which is the name for the condition where the levels of potassium in a person's blood become dangerously low.

"Further investigation revealed a recent change to a liquorice-containing candy as the likely cause of his hypokalemia," wrote Dr Andrew L Lundquist.

So while licorice is certainly safe to eat in moderation - too much of it can literally kill you.

Source: BBC News | Comments (14)

Tags: Licorice

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Hammerclaw on 24 September, 2020, 3:55
You can die from too much coffee--even water. Pretty much anything, consumed in extreme excess, is bad for you.
Comment icon #6 Posted by jethrofloyd on 24 September, 2020, 4:50
Man In UP Dies After Eating 41 Eggs As A Part Of A Challenge   Man dies after taco-eating contest in California   Man, 35, drank himself to death after consuming too much water
Comment icon #7 Posted by TigerBright19 on 24 September, 2020, 8:52
I love the smell of Liquorice, but I'm not keen on the taste, although I enjoy root beer which has hint of Liquorice in it.  
Comment icon #8 Posted by Matt221 on 24 September, 2020, 12:39
i got a weak heart taking loads of pills blood thinners etc  i ve got a Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator for when  my heart stops(its a case of when not if) surgeons at papworth told me so i better leave of the licorice trouble is i love the stuff  i eat loads ............... or used to
Comment icon #9 Posted by Seti42 on 27 September, 2020, 17:19
Just drink a bunch of Ouzo. That's totally safe.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Vox on 27 September, 2020, 18:52
What a sweet way to go.
Comment icon #11 Posted by DanL on 27 September, 2020, 22:56
I like licorice both black and red but can't imagine that eating THAT much of anything day after day might build-up and into a serious problem. That is a LOT of licorice!!!
Comment icon #12 Posted by joc on 28 September, 2020, 0:49
Comment icon #13 Posted by simplybill on 28 September, 2020, 13:04
I know someone who suffered a stroke from eating black licorice. It aggravated an underlying medical condition she wasn’t aware of.   
Comment icon #14 Posted by TripGun on 1 October, 2020, 13:16
Black licorice has some healing effects in moderation such as against h pylori that causes stomach ulcers.

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