Here's something to keep in mind when gorging on Halloween treats: It's possible to overdose on candy, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Not just any candy, though. Black licorice, specifically, comes with FDA warning.
According to a news release from the FDA , authentic black licorice contains a compound called glycyrrhizin, which in high doses can lead to abnormal heartbeat, high blood pressure, water retention and swelling. Those most at risk of complications from black licorice are over age 40 or people with history of heart disease or high blood pressure.
The FDA warns that eating 2 ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could cause an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) for those at risk.
There is some good news for licorice lovers, though.
While the black candy is traditionally made with glycyrrhizin-containing licorice root, the FDA stresses that many modern versions are made with similarly-flavored anise oil.
The Hershey Company asserts that its cherry, strawberry and chocolate flavored Twizzlers licorice candy contains no licorice root at all. However, its black licorice flavored Twizzlers contain both anise oil and licorice root.
Red Vines , another popular brand of black licorice candy, also lists both licorice extract and anise oil among its ingredients.
If you're a grown-up trick-or-treater, there are a few candies that are a healthy indulgence:
A recent study from the University of Cambridge cited by Time's Heathland Blog found that out of 100,000 people, people with the highest chocolate consumption levels had 37 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 29 percent lower risk of stroke than those who ate the least chocolate.
Additionally, Discovery News reported that peppermint oil, found in candy canes and other minty candies, can help relieve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and can even prevent bacteria from forming in food.
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