Damages licorice during pregnancy
Finnish scientists found evidence that licorice may harm children's physical and cognitive development during pregnancy. You therefore advise pregnant women to avoid licorice during pregnancy.
Licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid, the natural sweetener from the licorice root. This inhibits the enzyme 11-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2, which catalyzes the conversion of cortisol to cortisone. The enzyme is also found in the placenta, where it inactivates cortisol and prevents it from entering the child's circulation. Licorice increases the cortisol concentration in the organism of the fetus.
Research has shown that animal studies have shown delayed puberty, reproductive disorders, and attention and memory problems.
The Finnish scientists evaluated the data of 1,049 women who had given birth to an only child in 1998. Among them were 51 women who had taken more than 500 mg of glycyrrhizic acid during pregnancy, which is contained in approximately 100 grams of licorice.
When examining the children at the age of eight, their children had a lower vocabulary, poorer narrative memory, and limited spatial imagination. and a weaker ability to concentrate. In addition, they tended to violate rules and aggressive behavior.
The children are now twelve years old. In addition, puberty began earlier in the girls of the licorice-consuming pregnant women, and they are heavier and larger than the children whose mothers had not consumed licorice.
The study authors advise all pregnant women to refrain from consuming licorice during pregnancy. You can find the study here.