The FDA Is Warning About This Sweet Treat On Halloween

Halloween is one of the few times of year when you're almost expected to eat massive amounts of candy in one day, but the FDA is warning people not to eat too much of one particular treat: black licorice.
Now, we're well aware that black licorice is a controversial candy that plenty of people probably wouldn't bother eating at all. It constantly tops "most-hated" Halloween candy lists, after all. But there are people out there who actually like black licorice, and some who even love it.
So, for those people, the FDA has put together a handy video explaining the health risks of eating too much black licorice at a time, Forbes reports. It turns out, the candy is actually dangerous for your heart.
Advertisement
As the video explains, there's a compound in black licorice called glycyrrhizin, which reduces the amount of potassium in your body. Large quantities of this compound can cause health problems like high blood pressure, swelling, muscle weakness, and even congestive heart failure.
Black licorice overdose may seem like something doctors warn about, but never actually happens, but there really have been cases of people who were hospitalized because they consumed too much licorice. Take, for example, the 10 year old boy who had been eating 20 black licorice toffees every day for four months, and ended up in the hospital with convulsive seizures.
The question, of course, is how much black licorice is too much — because it's unlikely that many people are eating 20 pieces a day. And that's where it gets a little tricky. According to the FDA, a person 40 or older who eats two ounces of black licorice every day for two weeks will likely end up in the hospital. But what if you're just eating black licorice on Halloween, and are not over 40?
While the agency doesn't give any hard and fast numbers in that case, they do recommend keeping serving sizes small. And if you have been eating a lot of black licorice and start feeling an irregular heartbeat, make sure to stop eating the candy and check in with a doctor.
Related Video:
Read these stories next:

More from Trends

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.