The list of things expectant moms need to avoid keeps getting longer and longer. And the newest addition to the no-nos is licorice. It turns out that it could have a negative effect on baby’s brain.
A new study from Finland finds that eating licorice during pregnancy can affect the child’s cognitive abilities. Kids whose moms ate the most licorice while they were pregnant had lower IQs – an average of seven points lower – than the kids whose mothers ate little or none. And these children had triple the risk for attention deficit disorder issues.
The problem seems to be from glycyrrhizin [[Gly-sir-I-zin]] – a sweetener that comes from the root of the licorice plant. So it’s not just licorice that preggo women need to skip, it’s any candies, teas, and herbal remedies that contain this natural sweetener. And while the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration don’t warn against eating it yet, last year the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland did add licorice to the “not recommended” category for pregnant women
So this is just another thing it’s probably better to avoid when you’re expecting, just like caffeine and sushi. But you probably won’t miss licorice as much as a nice glass of wine or a latte. And you can still eat red Twizzlers - they don’t contain the questionable sweetener - and the red ones are way better than black licorice anyway.
Source: She Knows