Dr. Neel Butala, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital reports that a 54 year old construction worker has died from a black licorice OD. The unnamed man developed a love of licorice and started eating about a bag a day. 2 weeks later his heart stopped.
The reason it would kill most of us is glycyrrhizic acid, found in black licorice can cause dangerously low potassium and imbalances in electrolytes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that.as little as 2 ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could cause a heart rhythm problem, especially if you're over 40.
Dr. Robert Eckel, a University of Colorado cardiologist and former American Heart Association president warned, “It’s more than licorice sticks. It could be jelly beans, licorice teas, a lot of things over the counter. Even some beers, like Belgian beers, have this compound in it, as do some chewing tobaccos!"