In a bizarre turn of events, a 54 years old Massachusetts man has reportedly died after eating too much Licorice candy. The doctors confirmed that the rush of sugar had damaged his heart function.
The 54 years old man had been eating around a bag and a half of licorice candy each day for many weeks. This, naturally, resulted in nutrients imbalance.
A cardiologist from Massachusetts, Neel Butala, took up the case in a Medicine Journal. He warned people of the dangers of overloading sugar. He added that even a tiny bit of licorice can result in significant blood pressure increase.
The US Food and Drug officials announced that eating two ounces of black licorice for 12 days can results in heart rhythm issues for 40 and over individuals.
What Makes Black Licorice So Dangerous?
As per medical experts, the main ingredient that makes black licorice so deadly is the glycyrrhizic acid. This ingredient is present in other food items that use licorice root as well.
Your potassium levels drop when you consume too much glycyrrhizic acid. That’s because it does not let your body absorb adequate potassium. And, for a healthy functioning heart, one needs an appropriate balance of sodium and potassium. When the potassium level drops, the sodium level increases substantially. This causes heart rhythm problems and increased blood pressure.
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Another leading cardiologist from the University of Colorado, Dr. Robert Eckel, further explained that it’s not just the licorice candy that’s dangerous. He said that any food item that uses the licorice root can cause similar issues. Some other popular food items include licorice teas, jelly beans, etc.
Furthermore, Dr. Eckel added that the Belgian beers and even some types of chewing tobacco contain this dangerous compound. Dr. Eckel was formerly the president of the American Heart Association.
Health experts say, however, that the Massachusetts case was an extreme one. The 54 years old man has switched to black licorice from the red twists. The man had gone to eat at a fast-food restaurant when he had a blackout. The emergency services gave him CPR. He revived only to die the following day. Reports found that his potassium levels were fatally low.
Massachusetts Case Reported To FDA In Hopes To Bring Awareness
As per Dr. Butala, a maximum of 3.1 percent glycyrrhizic acid is allowed in a food item. However, licorice and many other candies don’t reveal how much of this compound they have per ounce.
Jeff Beckmann from Hershey states that all their food items are safe to consume but needs to be eaten in moderation. The Hershey Company manufactures licorice candies.