I never got on with liquorice as a child. Perhaps it was as well, f this story from the New England Journal of Medicine is anything to go by.
A 54-year-old construction worker from Massachusetts was so enamoured with black liquorice that he would at least a bag of the stuff each day. Unfortunately, while he was having his lunch, in a fast-food outlet natch, he collapsed and eventually died in hospital.
The cause of death, specialists concluded, was down to the presence of the compound glycyrrhizin in the sweet which causes potassium levels to plummet, lead to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure. Even eating as little as two ounces of black liquorice a day for at least two weeks, if you are over 40-years of age, can leave you with irregular rhythms or arrythmia.
The man had recently switched from red to black liquorice, the former being less injurious to your health.
A warning to us all.