One more reason to hate black licorice: It's bad for your health


When it comes to candy preferences, black licorice might be just as divisive as candy corn.

We all know that too much candy is bad for us, but how much is too much?

Blame it on one ingredient. Apparently, too much black licorice can cause health problems such as irregular heart rhythm, especially in people over 40.

If you love black licorice, the FDA advises not to eat large amounts of the candy at one time.

Black licorice can interact with many medications, herbs and other dietary supplements.

Phew. Some good news, at least. The compound causes the body's potassium levels to fall, which can have nasty side-effects for some people. Most of the stuff you see on the shelves at places like Publix and CVS are only "flavored with licorice", reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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Dr. Linda Katz, director of the Office of Cosmetics and Colors at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the FDA, noted that the health problems caused by black licorice are not permanent.

A sweetening compound contained in black licorice called glycyrrhizin is at the root of the issue. With these low levels, some people might get high blood pressure, swelling and even heart failure. A discussion with health care professionals can underline the best guidance for each person.

"Candy isn't something we should be eating on a regular basis anyway, nonetheless every day, so we want to make sure that we're consuming it in moderation".

Luckily, Americans don't seem to particularly like black licorice anyway.

"Products manufactured in the United States do not contain any licorice", the agency wrote.