Black Licorice: A Halloween Treat That Can Play Tricks On Your Heart

…found with the glycyrrhizin removed, resulting in a product known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL.

Licorice is also used as a flavoring in food. Many “licorice” or “licorice flavor” products manufactured in the United States do not contain any licorice. Instead, they are made with anise oil, which has the same smell and taste.

The NIH advises pregnant women to avoid using licorice root as a supplement or consuming large amounts of it as food.

What Should You Keep in Mind?

If you are a black licorice enthusiast, you should keep this advice from the FDA in mind:

  • No matter what your age, don’t eat large amounts of black licorice at one time.
  • If you have been eating a lot of black licorice and have an irregular heart rhythm or muscle weakness, stop eating it immediately and contact your healthcare provider.
  • Black licorice can interact with some medications, herbs and dietary supplements. Consult a healthcare professional if you have questions about possible interactions with a drug or supplement you take.


Constance Brown-RiggsConstance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, national speaker and author of The African American Guide to Living Well with Diabetes. She is a Dannon One Yogurt Every Day Nutrition Advisor.

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