Black Licorice Bad for Heart
Thereâ€™s a dark side to a tasty candy that may make its way into several treat bags this Halloween, the FDA is warning. Black licorice can lead to heart arrhythmias and other health problems when consumed by adults in large quantities, the FDA noted in its pre-holiday alert.
The candy contains a compound called glycyrrhizin, which lends it a sweet flavor. But eating only two ounces of black licorice daily for two weeks could cause a heart arrhythmia, since it causes the kidneys to excrete potassium. Low levels of potassium can make the heart beat irregularly fast or out of sync, health authorities say.
People taking diuretics, digoxin and laxatives should be especially cautious when consuming the treat. The combination of the candy with these medications can drive potassium down to dangerously low levels. Other studies suggest that women taking oral contraceptives should practice moderation with black licorice because of the potassium effect.
However, the FDAâ€™s warning applies to everyone: young, old, at Halloween or at any other time of the year.
Do you eat black licorice?