Are you one of those certifiably weird people that actually like licorice? If you are, please know that I am not only harshly judging your bad taste in candy, but I am, unfortunately, also the bearer of bad news. According to a study published earlier this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, eating too much of your beloved sugary, fennel-y, star annis-y rope can actually kill you.
According to the study, a 54-year-old construction worker from Massachusetts collapsed at a fast food place and passed away at a hospital next morning. The cause of death, according his doctors? "A poor diet, consisting primarily of several packages of candy daily." But this wasn't just your run-of-the-mill poor diet, no, dear reader, this was the act of licorice malice. About three weeks before his death, he switched from a vice of soft fruit flavored candy to the chewy ropes.
Yet this was more than just an act of bad taste, as licorice is rich with a compound called Glycyrrhizic acid, which according to CNN, is a "a sweetening compound derived from licorice root, can cause a drop in potassium levels in the body, which in turn may cause high blood pressure, swelling, abnormal heart rhythms and even heart failure."
Although shocking, this apparently isn't news. Licorice can cause a myriad of health problems in people over 40, with the FDA even releasing warnings about avoid overdosing on the candy during Halloween. Licorice - not even once?