A Massachusetts man has died from eating too many bags of black licorice, doctors say.
According to a report, the man who was a construction worker, was eating a bag and a half every day for a few weeks. Doctors say this threw his nutrients out of whack and caused the 54-year-old man’s heart to stop.
The incident happened when the man was eating at a fast-food restaurant and he suddenly collapsed. Emergency responders did CPR on him and he revived, but died the next day. Doctors said his potassium levels were extremely low.
Doctors say the level of glycyrrhizic acid found in black licorice can cause dangerously low potassium and imbalances in other minerals called electrolytes.
Eating as little as 2 ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could cause a heart rhythm problem, especially for folks over 40, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.
Jeff Beckman, a spokesman for the Hershey Company, which makes the popular Twizzlers licorice twists, said in an email that “all of our products are safe to eat and formulated in full compliance with FDA regulations,” and that all foods, including candy, “should be enjoyed in moderation.”