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Licorice Candies Linked to Strokes in Kids

Update Date: Mar 02, 2015 06:01 PM EST

Eating too much licorice is dangerous, according to researchers. A new case study describes how a 10-year-old boy suffered seizures after eating licorice.

Dr. Davide Tassinari and his team from the University of Bologna, Italy, reported that the 10-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital after suffering a 2-minute tonic-clonic seizure. Researchers noted that the boy suffered a cluster of another three generalized seizures the first few hours of being sent to the hospital. He also suffered headaches and high blood pressure.

Doctors were mystified by the boy's condition. However, doctors noticed that the boy had black teeth during a medical examination a week later. Further investigation revealed that the boy had been eating at least 20 licorice sweets a day for four months. Researchers noted that he consumed 2.88 mg/kg of glycyrrhizic acid (one of the active ingredients of licorice) a day, which was 0.88mg/kg more than World Health Organization recommendations.

Researchers noted that excessive consumption of glycyrrhizic acid led to the boy's hypertension and posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome. Researchers noted that the boy's blood pressure returned to normal after he stopped eating licorice.

The case study was published in the journal Pediatric Neurology.

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