By Vincent Huang
Halloween is the time of year where every young person goes around from house to house asking for candy. For most, candy would be your primary motive, but hey, walking around the neighborhood is a good exercise too. Either way, you’ll probably end your day with a bucket full of candy. But those black licorice sticks on the bottom of your mountain of candy, are they actually a treat?
While not particularly tasty, one must be careful of how much licorice is consumed in a short period of time. The FDA warned that binge eating this candy could be detrimental to your health. According to a news release that was released around Halloween, “adults over 40 who ate two ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could experience irregular heart rhythm, arrhythmia, or even a trip to the hospital.” The agency used evidence from medical journals and found that black licorice contains the compound glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound that can lower the body’s potassium levels, which could lead to various heart issues. Although the effect is not permanent, one should be careful of how much is candy consumed daily.
FDA recommends that:
- “No matter what your age, don’t eat large amounts of black licorice 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 healthcare provider.
- Black licorice can interact with some medications, herbs and dietary supplements. Consult a healthcare professional if you have questions about possible interactions with a drug or supplement you take.”