Massachusetts man dies after eating bags of black licorice

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A Massachusetts building employee’s love of black licorice has prompted his premature dying. Eating a bag and a half every single day for a number of weeks threw his vitamins out of whack and prompted his coronary heart to cease, docs reported Wednesday.

“Even a small amount of licorice you eat can increase your blood pressure a little bit,” stated Dr. Neel Butala, a heart specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital who described the case within the New England Journal of Medicine.

The drawback is glycyrrhizic acid, present in black licorice and in lots of different meals and dietary dietary supplements containing licorice root extract. It may cause dangerously low potassium and imbalances in different minerals referred to as electrolytes

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“It’s more than licorice sticks. It could be jelly beans, licorice teas, a lot of things over the counter. Even some beers, like Belgian beers, have this compound in it,” as do some chewing tobaccos, stated Dr. Robert Eckel, a University of Colorado heart specialist and former American Heart Association president. He had no position within the Massachusetts man’s care.

Doctors discovered that the 54-year-old man had dangerously low potassium, which led to coronary heart rhythm and different issues.

He misplaced consciousness inside a fast-food restaurant, in accordance with the report. Emergency responders did CPR and he was revived and brought to a hospital, however he died the following day.

Doctors wrote that he had “a poor diet, consisting primarily of several packages of candy daily,” and that three weeks earlier than, he switched from eating fruit-flavored gentle sweet to licorice sweet, which contained glycyrrhizic acid.

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Eating as little as 2 ounces of black licorice a day for 2 weeks may trigger a coronary heart rhythm drawback, particularly for people over 40, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

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