It’s pretty well-publicised at this stage that consuming too many sweets is not good for you, and this latest story really drives the point home.


An Italian boy reportedly suffered multiple seizures after ‘overdosing’ on liquorice sweets.


The 10-year-old boy was initially admitted to hospital in Bologna, having suffered a seizure, and hours later had three more.


With high blood pressure and complaints of a bad headache, the child appeared to be suffering from posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). However, doctors were left confused by his case, as CT and MRI scans ruled out the major condition that leads to PRES.


Light was shed on what was actually happening to the boy a week later, however, when doctors noticed that his teeth were black.


After further investigation, the doctors discovered that the boy had been eating at least 20 liquorice sweets each and every day for four months, meaning that he was consuming 2.88 mg/kg of glycyrrhizic acid.



With the recommended maximum intake set at 2 mg/kg by the World Health Organisation, the little boy was clearly well over the safe limit.


From this, doctors were able to determine that excessive consumption of liquorice had resulted in the development of high blood pressure and, as a result, PRES.


The boy was ordered to give up the sweets, and after treatment, his blood pressure returned to normal.


The case was published in the Paediatric Neurology journal this week as part of a plea by experts to have the recommended daily amount printed clearly on sweet wrappers, as well as to raise awareness to the risk of children developing PRES.