• Alysa Salzberg

Man dies from overdose…of black licorice

It’s a well-known fact that overdosing on drugs or alcohol can be fatal. It turns out that the same thing can happen with certain kinds of candy.


This week, news reports emerged about the death of a man in Massachusetts, who went into cardiac arrest after eating black licorice.


Licorice fans should note that this wasn’t a one-time binge; the man had been consuming a bag and a half of the candy every day for weeks before his death.


Still, most of us would think this relatively short-term behavior might lead to issues like obesity or dental cavities, not death. But it turns out that a compound called glycyrrhizic acid or glycyrrhizin is found in licorice root. In large doses, it can cause issues with blood pressure, as well as cardiac arrhythmia and potassium and electrolyte imbalances.


These risks aren’t only tied to black licorice; some other candies, including jelly beans, also contain glycyrrhizic acid.


So whether it’s Halloween, Easter, or you’re just a candy fiend, remember to enjoy your sweets in moderation.


Sincere condolences to the loved ones of the man who passed away. Life can be very hard, and sometimes candy is the only sweet thing in it. Hopefully, he got some consolation from that before his life came to an end.


Read on to learn more about the deadly properties of black licorice candy.



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