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Beware black licorice

| Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, 11:51 a.m.
Black licorice
Wiki Media
Black licorice

If you're over 40, take it easy on the black licorice, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

For most of us, this is not a problem. Who likes black licorice anyway?

“If you're 40 or older, eating two ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could land you in the hospital with an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia,” the FDA wrote on its website.

The sweetening compound derived from licorice root, glycyrrhizin, causes potassium levels in the body to fall, which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, swelling, lethargy and congestive heart failure. Potassium levels return once black licorice consumption stops, according to the FDA.

The National Institutes of Health say the plant's root has long been a folk remedy where it grows in Greece, Turkey and Asia, according to Scripps Media. It's been used to treat heartburn, stomach ulcers, bronchitis, sore throat, cough and some viral infections such as hepatitis.

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