Too Much Candy: Man Dies from Eating Bags of Black Licorice – Snopes.com

This article is republished here with authorization from The Associated Press. This content is shared here because the topic might interest Snopes readers; it does not, however, represent the work of Snopes fact-checkers or editors.A Massachusetts construction employees love of black licorice ended up costing him his life. Consuming a bag and a half every day for a couple of weeks tossed his nutrients out of whack and triggered the 54-year-old males heart to stop, medical professionals reported Wednesday.
” Even a small quantity of licorice you consume can increase your high blood pressure a little bit,” said Dr. Neel Butala, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who described the case in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The problem is glycyrrhizic acid, discovered in black licorice and in numerous dietary supplements and other foods consisting of licorice root extract. It can trigger dangerously low potassium and imbalances in other minerals called electrolytes.
Consuming just 2 ounces of black licorice a day for 2 weeks could trigger a heart rhythm issue, especially for folks over 40, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions.
” Its more than licorice sticks. It could be jelly beans, licorice teas, a lot of things over the counter.
The death was clearly an extreme case. The man had switched from red, fruit-flavored twists to the black licorice variation of the sweet a few weeks prior to his death last year. He collapsed while having lunch at a lunch counter. Medical professionals discovered he had alarmingly low potassium, which caused heart rhythm and other problems. Emergency responders did CPR and he restored but died the next day.
The FDA permits up to 3.1% of a foods material to have glycyrrhizic acid, however numerous candies and other licorice products do not reveal just how much of it is included per ounce, Butala said. Physicians have actually reported the case to the FDA in hope of raising attention to the risk.
Jeff Beckman, a spokesman for the Hershey Company, which makes the popular Twizzlers licorice twists, stated in an email that “all of our products are safe to eat and created in full compliance with FDA policies,” which all foods, including sweet, “need to be enjoyed in small amounts.”

” Its more than licorice sticks. It could be jelly beans, licorice teas, a lot of things over the counter. The man had actually changed from red, fruit-flavored twists to the black licorice version of the sweet a couple of weeks before his death last year.

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