A 54-year-old man from the US state of Massachusetts has died because he ate too much licorice, doctors say.
The construction worker, whose name is not mentioned, reportedly ate one and a half bags of licorice a day. He had no complaints until he suddenly had a heart attack in a fast food restaurant. Doctors describe the case this week in the New England Journal of Medicine and state that the substance glycyrrizine in the licorice must have been the cause of death. “We heard that this patient had a bad diet and was eating a lot of sweets. Could his illness have been caused by his licorice consumption? ” Dr. Elazer Edelman wonders in the play.
He cites studies showing that glycyrrizine, a substance extracted from licorice root and often added to licorice, can cause numerous problems, such as ‘high blood pressure, low potassium, too high a pH value, heart rhythm disturbances and kidney failure’ . The patient appeared to suffer from all these conditions.
A few weeks before his death, the man had switched to a different type of candy: the red wine gums had been exchanged for licorice. Another doctor, Andrew Lundquist, states in the report that the licorice was fatal to the American. “Further research has shown that his recent switch to licorice caused the dangerously low potassium levels.” He would eventually have had the heart attack because of that.
Bron (nen): BBC