Recently, FDA scientists have found that eating too much black licorice may lead to an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia.
The harm is particularly strong in people who are 40 and older.
Licorice, or licorice, is a low-growing shrub mostly grown for commercial use in Greece, Turkey, and Asia.
The plant’s root is used as a traditional remedy in both Eastern and Western medicine.
It has been used as a treatment for many health conditions such as heartburn, stomach ulcers, bronchitis, sore throat, cough and some infections caused by viruses, such as hepatitis.
Black licorice is a common snack enjoyed by many people in daily life and holidays.
But previous research has shown that it could contribute to increased blood pressure. People with a high risk of the disease need to control their intake.
In this study, the FDA experts found that eating 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks may harm heart health.
This is because black licorice contains the compound glycyrrhizin, which is the sweetening compound derived from licorice root.
This compound can cause potassium levels in the body to fall.
This could lead to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy, and congestive heart failure, especially in people over 40 and have a high risk of heart disease.
When people stop eating black licorice, their potassium levels are usually restored with no permanent health problems.
The researchers also suggest that black licorice can interact with some medications, herbs and dietary supplements.
It is important to talk to doctors if people have concerns about possible interactions with a drug or supplement.
Healthy people need to avoid eating large amounts of black licorice at one time.
If people experience an irregular heart rhythm or muscle weakness, they should stop eating it immediately and contact their doctors.
One researcher is FDA’s Linda Katz, M.D.
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