The Body After Eating Several Pounds Licorice Candy
Based on N Engl J Med 2020; 383:1263-1275. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMcpc2002420
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Licorice candy has glycyrrhizin which increases cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body. This causes hypokalemia. Hypo- low. Kal- kalium (potassium). emia- presence in blood. Potassium signals muscle relaxation. Low potassium, low relaxation. Heart can't relax, then it stops. Real licorice candy is not easy to get in the United States. It's not at big chain grocery stores. Most of what you can buy from the big brands is licorice flavored, and won't do this.
A 54-Year-Old Man with Sudden Cardiac Arrest. N Engl J Med 2020; 383:1263-1275. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMcpc2002420
The Pharmacological Activities of Glycyrrhizinic Acid (“Glycyrrhizin”) and Glycyrrhetinic Acid. Sweeteners. 2018 : 245–261. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7123798/
Sustained Leukocyte Count during Rising Cortisol Level. Acta Haematologica 118(2):73-6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6298458
Licorice-Induced Hypermineralocorticoidism. N Engl J Med 1991; 325:1223-1227. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199110243251706
Young WF, et. al. Apparent mineralocorticoid excess syndromes (including chronic licorice ingestion). In: UpToDate, Post, TW (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2019.
Quinkler M, Stewart PM. Hypertension and the cortisol-cortisone shuttle. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2003; 88:2384.
Funder JW. Apparent mineralocorticoid excess. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2017; 165:151.
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