London: Confectioneries may be more harmful for your child than you ever imagined for they can lead to high blood pressure or even seizures in kids, says a study.
The case study details the account of a 10-year-old boy who suffered seizures after over-indulging in licorice (a confectionery).
Licorice is a confection flavoured with the extract of the roots of the liquorice plant. A wide variety of liquorice sweets are produced around the world.
A 10-year-old boy was admitted to hospital in Bologna, Italy after suffering a two-minute tonic-clonic seizure.
Dr. Davide Tassinari and colleagues from the University of Bologna reported that a cluster of another three generalised seizures occurred in the next few hours.
The boy also complained of a severe headache and had high blood pressure.
During medical examination, doctors noticed that the boy's teeth were black. It came out that he had been eating at least 20 licorice sweets each day for the past four months.
This resulted in the consumption of 2.88 mg/kg of glycyrrhizic acid (one of the active ingredients of licorice) -- well above the World Health Organization's recommended maximum of 2 mg/kg.
This excessive consumption had resulted in his developing hypertension, and, in turn, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES).
After the boy stopped eating the sweets, his anti-hypertensive treatment was gradually reduced and his blood pressure returned to normal.
The authors noted that the risk was particularly high for children with a low body weight.
The study appeared in the journal Paediatric Neurology.