Pregnant Women Should Avoid Licorice; Why Moms Are Asked To Be Wary Of This Healing Substance

By alexa ancheta, Parent Herald February 07, 04:20 pm

Researchers have warned against the dangers of exposing pregnant women to licorice. The consumption of the herb extract, which has known healing properties, can be detrimental to the brain development of the fetus, as shown by psychological tests. It revealed that infants exposed to licorice in the womb had low performance in cognitive reasoning.

The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, shows children with high exposure to licorice had problems related to the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These kids did not also perform well in tasks that measured the capacity of their memories.

The study was conducted by the National Institute for Health and Welfare and the University of Helsinki. It involved 378 young people whose mothers had high licorice consumption or exposure when they were pregnant, according to Deccan Chronicle. The findings should be enough warning for pregnant women about the dangers of substances that contains glycyrrhizin, a key component of licorice.

Experts have previously warned pregnant women to stay away from licorice, but they have not indicated the exact amount of glycyrrhizin that can negatively affect the baby's brain, as per Daily Mirror. The recent study, however, advised women to keep away from weekly exposure to licorice weighing 250 grams, as this is already equivalent to glycyrrhizin with a weight of 500 milligrams. This substance helps produce more cortisol, which is essential to fetus development, but dangerous in excess.

Licorice is an herb that can be found almost everywhere as it is used in tobacco, food, beverage, according to Web MD. It is also used to treat mouth sore and hepatitis. Even grooming products such as shampoo can contain licorice. Pregnant women with eczema should be wary of the gels they use to treat the condition as it can contain licorice.

Experts have promoted licorice because of their potential use as a treatment for cancers in the prostate and the breast. The use of licorice as medication for these illnesses has not yet been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. The latest findings on its effects on pregnant women and their children should be enough warning on the possible dangers brought by exposure to licorice.

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