Death by licorice

The New England Journal of Medicine recently reported on a case of a 54-year-old man who died by eating too much licorice:

On the basis of additional history obtained from his family, the patient was eating one or two large packages of soft candy daily. Three weeks before presentation, he had switched from eating fruit-flavored soft candy to eating licorice-flavored soft candy that contained glycyrrhizic acid, which is converted to glycyrrhetinic acid after it is consumed.

The glycyrrhetinic acid caused his potassium levels to drop, which then caused his heart to stop.

It would have been weirder if he had been crushed by 16 tons of licorice. But licorice overdose is a weird way to die nevertheless.
     Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 29, 2020
     Category: Death | Candy

Since the website wants some login information that I would rather not supply I will make an assumption that the licorice flavor in question is the black type, which to my palate tastes horrid. I prefer the red, ersatz confection. The texture is similar and, for my taste, much more palatable.

Posted by KDP on 09/29/20 at 09:27 PM
If only the guy tried the Swedish Lakritz, he could have been saved. This salty licorice tastes so horrid that nobody eats a second piece unless they're Swedish AND like surstromming.
Posted by Yudith on 10/01/20 at 05:57 AM
@KDP: the red stuff isn't liquorice. At all. It's more like Turkish Delight (quid non) or soft boiled sweets.

That said, as a Dutchman... that much drop really isn't good for you, and we all know it. (Oh, and @Yudith: I don't like the salty stuff, either. Give me the bayleaf- or honey-flavoured ones any day.)
Posted by Richard Bos on 10/03/20 at 10:06 AM
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