Licorce man: Massachusetts construction worker dies after eating black licorice every day for a ‘few weeks’

I never liked black licorice.

Red, sure, but not black.

Tim McGovern of People reported in September a Massachusetts construction worker’s love of candy cost him his life.

The 54-year-old, who has not been named, died in a fast-food restaurant while having lunch after consuming a bag and half of black licorice for a few weeks, a study by The New England Journal of Medicine.

“He had a poor diet, consisting primarily of several packages of candy daily,” the study claimed, before noting that three “weeks earlier, he had switched the type of candy he was eating” to black licorice, the study found according to the Associated Press.

The study also said that licorice’s glycyrrhizic acid (usually found in the candy’s extract) can cause the “unimpeded presence of cortisol,” which in turn “can cause hypertension, hypokalemia, metabolic alkalosis, fatal arrhythmias, and renal failure — the constellation of signs and symptoms seen in this patient.”

The Journal’s findings listed the following as the diagnosis of Dr. Elazer R. Edelman, a doctor cited in the study: “Metabolic, renal, vascular, and cardiac toxic effects from apparent mineralocorticoid excess due to licorice consumption.”

The man, who suffered experienced “full-body shaking and loss of consciousness” before his death, also smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 36 years and had a medical history that “included previous heroin use disorder and untreated hepatitis C virus infection.”

In 2018, a 73-year-old New Yorker filed a lawsuit against the Hershey Company, alleging that their Twizzlers black licorice candy contributed to his heart condition.

The New York Post first reported that David Goldberg, a Manhattan resident, has been “consuming at least one standard size bag per week” for “years,” according to Manhattan Supreme Court documents.

The lawsuit claimed that Goldberg is a “healthy individual who is not obese” and “has never had any heart conditions,” according to the Post, but had recently been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat.)

In February, the case was settled after it had been sent to arbitration in October 2019, according to Law 360.

In 2017, the FDA issued a warning against glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound that is found in black licorice. The federal agency claims this ingredient can lower potassium levels which can lead to heart problems, and warns adults over 40 that “eating 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could land you in the hospital with an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia.”


NZ dad isn’t fazed at all by the outrage at his daughter’s first deer kill

John Edens of Stuff reports a proud father says he isn’t worried by critics upset at photographs of his eight-year-old daughter taking a bite out of a deer’s heart after her first successful hunt.

kid.deer.heart.2Johnny Yuile and his daughter went hunting on a friend’s bush block the Hawke’s Bay, earlier this month.

Yuile – a New Zealand police constable – said he has been hunting with his daughter since she was a toddler and when she was little he’d strap her to a front-pack during bush missions.

His daughter, using her dad’s Remington 7mm-08 rifle, shot a young stag from 40 metres.

He sent a couple of photographs online to a Facebook page, showing a smiling father and daughter beside the stag and his daughter taking a bite from the deer’s heart. For many people, tasting a freshly killed animal, whether it’s by taking a bite or drinking blood, is part of hunting.

Yuile said he hunts for meat for his family.

“She made tricky downhill shot using my shoulder as a leaning rest and shot with dads 7 mm-08 at about 40m. Then she took a bite from its warm quivering heart,” a Facebook post said.

The Facebook page quickly attracted “haters” who criticised Yuile for taking his daughter hunting at such a young age, branded the hunt “sadistic” and wrongly accused the pair of killing an animal for sport.

Yuile said the pair were hunting at a friend’s place.

Listeria can target heart

This is sorta cool – unless you contract a subset of listeria and have heart problems.

Listeria is everywhere, as Michael McCain of Maple Leaf Foods likes to remind everyone, but Nancy Freitag, from the University of Illinois, Chicago, reports in the Journal of Medical Microbiology that some listeria strains had modified surface proteins that helped target the heart.

"A significant number – about 10% – of L. monocytogenes infections involve the heart. In these cases, death rate from cardiac illness is estimated to be up to 35%, yet very little is known about how these bacteria infect heart tissues."

Scientists in the United States discovered that mice infected with the strains had up to 15 times more bacteria in their hearts than those exposed to other forms of listeria.

The bug has an unusual ability to grow in low temperatures and can be found in a wide range of foods including soft cheeses, cold meat products, raw vegetables, fish, salads and unpasteurized milk.

Pregnant women are especially susceptible to listeria, which can cause them to miscarry.

Canada’s governor general eats raw seal heart: EU says too bizarre to acknowledge

Canada’s governor general Michaelle Jean (below, right), the representative of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II – ‘hellooooo little people ‘ — ate a slaughtered seal’s raw heart today in a show of support to the country’s seal hunters.

Hundreds of Inuit at a community festival gathered Monday as Jean knelt above a pair of seal carcasses and used a traditional ulu blade to slice the meat off the skin. After cutting through the flesh, Jean turned to the woman beside her and asked: "Could I try the heart?"

‘It’s like sushi’

A spokeswoman for EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said, "No comment; it’s too bizarre to acknowledge.”