Udayavni Special

Too much candy: The strange case of the man who died after eating bag of licorice every day


Team Udayavani, Sep 26, 2020, 2:09 PM IST

A Massachusetts construction worker died after eating bags of black licorice for an extended period of time

Eating a bag and a half every day for a few weeks threw his nutrients out of balance and caused the 54-year-old man’s heart to stop

He was eating in a fast-food restaurant last year when he gasped and lost consciousness. The man was taken to a hospital and evaluated for a cardiac arrest linked to a rapid, irregular heartbeat. Doctors found that he had low potassium levels and heart rhythm issues.

As reported by The Guardian, The problem is glycyrrhizic acid, found in black licorice and in many other foods and dietary supplements containing licorice root extract. It can cause dangerously low potassium and imbalances in other minerals, principally electrolytes.

The FDA permits up to 3.1% of a food’s content to have glycyrrhizic acid, but many candies and other licorice products do not reveal how much of it is contained per ounce

The man’s family revealed that he had a poor diet and a few weeks earlier, the man had switched from eating red, fruit-flavored candy to black licorice candy

People 40 or older should be especially vigilant about their black licorice consumption, even 2 ounces per day, over a two-week period, could cause irregular heart rhythm and may require hospitalization

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