Black licorice seems to be one of those candies that you either really love or really hate. If you love black licorice, you should be careful. It turns out that you can overdose and even die from eating too much of this treat. Many of these reactions are seen in people over the age of 40 who consume large quantities of black licorice.
For example, one man who died from adverse effects was eating a bag and a half of black licorice every day for about three weeks! Studies show that some supplements or teas also contain licorice, which can exacerbate the problem.
You can overdose on black licorice
The chemical that can lead to toxic effects is called glycyrrhizin or glycyrrhizic acid. Too much can disrupt the balance of electrolytes in your body, raise blood pressure, and mess with your heart’s natural rhythm. Symptoms may also include headache, swelling, muscle pain, and numbness.
People who have pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure or heart arrhythmia could experience adverse effects sooner. If you are experiencing health problems and have been eating a lot of licorice, go to the doctor or hospital immediately.
If you’re a licorice fan, check the labels. Many candies don’t even contain real licorice, so it wouldn’t be necessary to worry about it. Some other black candies like black jelly beans may contain licorice. It can’t hurt to check the labels and remember that you’d have to eat excessive quantities.
Did you know that black licorice could kill?