Is It Possible to Overdose on Candy?

If you have a sweet tooth, Halloween may be one of your favorite holidays. But if you’re 40 years old or older, make sure that you don't go overboard with black licorice. Right before Halloween in 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that eating two ounces of black licorice every day, for at least two weeks straight, can cause irregular heart rhythms. The danger of arrhythmia comes from a compound called glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound found in licorice root.

Love licorice? There's a twist:

  • Glycyrrhizin can cause potassium levels in the body to fall. In addition to abnormal heart function, it can cause high blood pressure, swelling, muscle weakness, and congestive heart failure.

  • Licorice is a low-growing shrub found mostly in Greece, Turkey, and Asia. The plant’s root has a long history of use as a folk remedy.

  • Licorice has been used as a treatment for heartburn, ulcers, bronchitis, sore throat, coughs, and some infections, but there’s no scientific evidence confirming its effectiveness.

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More Info: US Food and Drug Administration

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