Is Licorice Good for You?

Is Licorice Good for You?
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The safe upper limit of licorice consumption, and why pregnant women may be at particularly high risk.

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What about licorice? The kind that’s made out of actual licorice root—not the artificially-flavored corn syrup stuff. So, like, health food store licorice. Harmful, harmless, or helpful?

Licorice can be quite harmful. The natural compound that makes licorice so sweet can affect kidney function. Just four candy cigars for two weeks landed this woman in the hospital—a physician no less. She recovered completely, but others have not been so lucky.

Now, there is some evidence that the same compound may be effective at killing human prostate cancer cells in a Petri dish, so one could argue that these people were just eating too much of a good thing. But the safety window is so narrow. The safe upper limit of black licorice intake is six grams; so that’s like only six inches of licorice.

And it may be especially detrimental for pregnant women. Kids born to moms who ate a lot of licorice when pregnant suffer from diminished speech, visual, and memory skills, as well as two to three times the odds of having attention, rule-breaking, and aggression problems.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

What about licorice? The kind that’s made out of actual licorice root—not the artificially-flavored corn syrup stuff. So, like, health food store licorice. Harmful, harmless, or helpful?

Licorice can be quite harmful. The natural compound that makes licorice so sweet can affect kidney function. Just four candy cigars for two weeks landed this woman in the hospital—a physician no less. She recovered completely, but others have not been so lucky.

Now, there is some evidence that the same compound may be effective at killing human prostate cancer cells in a Petri dish, so one could argue that these people were just eating too much of a good thing. But the safety window is so narrow. The safe upper limit of black licorice intake is six grams; so that’s like only six inches of licorice.

And it may be especially detrimental for pregnant women. Kids born to moms who ate a lot of licorice when pregnant suffer from diminished speech, visual, and memory skills, as well as two to three times the odds of having attention, rule-breaking, and aggression problems.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to CandyBlog

Doctor's Note

For more on health concerns during pregnancy, check out these videos:
Bacon, Eggs, and Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy
How Long to Detox From Fish Before Pregnancy?
Chamomile Tea May Not Be Safe During Pregnancy
The Wrong Way to Detox
Diet Soda and Preterm Birth

For further context, see my associated blog post: Soy milk: shake it up!

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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