FDA: Black licorice could cause unwanted side effects

By: Andie Adams Email
By: Andie Adams Email

It's true what people say: there can be too much of a good thing.

Overdosing on black licorice this Halloween could come with some unwanted side effects.

The FDA warns it contains a sweetener called glycyrrhizin, which is from licorice root. It can cause a drop in potassium levels, which leads to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, edema, lethargy and congestive heart failure.

For those 40 or older, eating two ounces of black licorice everyday for two weeks could land you in the hosptial, the FDA advises.

The potassium levels usually get back to normal when people stop eating the black licorice, experts say.

They also suggest that people who take regular medications or dietary supplements consult their healthcare provider before eating it.


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