Before you load up on black licorice to hand out as a ‘treat’ this Halloween, you might want to take a look at a new warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…..and this is no trick.
If you’re planning to stash up on black licorice for Halloween, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning on Monday about possible dangerous side effects of the old-fashioned favorite.
For people 40 years or older, consuming 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could result in arrhythmia, or an irregular heart rhythm, according to the FDA.
Black licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is the sweetening compound derived from licorice root, the FDA reported. Glycyrrhizin could lower the body’s potassium level, which causes some people to experience abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, swelling, lethargy and even congestive heart failure.
According to WebMD, “The FDA offered the following advice for people who enjoy black licorice. No matter your age, don’t eat large amounts 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 health care provider.”
The FDA put together a short video on the potential risks associated with binge eating black licorice. You can watch it by clicking here or on the picture below.
Forbes.com added, “There are plenty of other claims about licorice root not backed by strong evidence such as that it can be used to treat canker sores, high cholesterol, hepatitis and obesity. Black licorice can also interfere with some medications such as decreasing the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin) and estrogen pills. Therefore, if you are taking any medications, check with your doctor before eating black licorice.”
So, what if you are a fan of red licorice…..is that a problem too? Probably not as red licorice is actually fruit-flavored and typically doesn’t contain any licorice root at all. However, it often contains quite a bit of sugar……which is best left for a blog on another day!
Have a Happy Halloween tonight and remember…..keep the black licorice consumption in moderation! And as always, share your thoughts about this spooky new report. Generating conversations around the health stories making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!