10-Year-Old's Serious Candy Habit Leads to Seizures

jars of candyOccasional treats and cheat days may seem fine, but too much of a good thing can be bad for you, as one family learned. A 10-year-old boy in Italy suffered from a seizure after indulging in way more than his fair share of licorice candy.


When the seizures first began, doctors couldn't immediately find their cause. He had normal vital signs, but high levels of cortisol and elevated blood pressure. And after performing an MRI, doctors found that his brain held excess fluid and later realized that his teeth were actually brown.

More from The Stir: 5 Ways to Kick Your Kid's Sugar Habit

The mystery was finally solved when the grade schooler admitted that, for the past four months, he had eaten 20 pieces of licorice toffee candies every single day.

Two weeks after quitting his sugar fix, his brain swelling went down and he returned to health. Only because he cut out his licorice intake.

So what's so bad about the sugary candy? Licorice, unlike other sweets, contains glycyrrhizic acid, which helps to give it its sugary flavor. This same acid then causes blood pressure to rise and keeps cortisol from breaking down in the body. And for the 10-year-old? He was eating almost double the amount of this acid that should be safe.

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You might think a candy overdose can just make kids hyper, but the fact is, the risks are much scarier. The FDA reports that just two ounces of black licorice daily for at least two weeks could put a person at risk for heart arrhythmia.

Halloween isn't the only time parents need to worry. Jellybeans and licorice treats are a hit year-round (and with Easter coming up, will be on the market even more), and can have some serious effects on a child's health. Now's the time to nip those cravings in the bud.

Do you stock black licorice in your home? Did you know it was so unhealthy?


Image via pilipphoto/shutterstock

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