We don’t mean to make light of someone losing their life, so apologies if our reporting on this story comes across that way. A Massachusetts man has unfortunately died due to his daily pack and a half addiction to highly controversial sweet- Black Licorice.
The story hit the wires earlier this week, detailing how a 54-year old construction worker with a sweet tooth succumbed to a deadly heart attack, brought on by high blood pressure, which was attributed to his bag-and-a-half licorice snacking habits.
Apparently, the man had made the switch from red licorice to black about a month previous to his death.
“Even a small amount of licorice you eat can increase your 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.
Frightening enough as we get into spooky snack season, aating as little as 2 ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could cause a heart rhythm problem (especially for folks over 40), so says the US Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Robert Eckel, a University of Colorado cardiologist and former American Heart Association President also offered his opinion on glycyrrhizic acid, a compound found in black licorice (and other suppliments) that causes low potassium and imbalances in the body’s electrolytes.
“It’s more than licorice sticks. It could be jelly beans, licorice teas, a lot of things over the counter. Even some beers, like Belgian beers, have this compound in it.”
Three years ago, the FDA even issued a warning about ingesting large amounts of the candy.
So, snack cautiously.