Go Easy on the Black Licorice
Black licorice is OK every once in a while, in small quantities. But adults should be careful, especially those with a history of heart problems or high blood pressure. People over 40 who eat just two ounces of black licorice every day for two weeks can develop an irregular heartbeat that requires hospitalization, according to the FDA. Because of the real risk of consuming glycyrrhizin, the FDA sets limits on how much of the compound can be found in all food types, including no more than 3.1 percent in soft candies. A spokesman for Hershey, which makes Twizzlers, told the Associated Press that all of its products are safe and comply with FDA regulations. The man who died at Massachusetts General didn’t have a history of heart problems, but he had a notoriously unhealthy diet that included a lot of candy. The man’s family told doctors he ate one or two large packages of soft candy every day. Three weeks before his death, the man had switched from fruit-flavored candy to licorice.