A construction worker in the US state of Massachusetts was killed by his liquorice habit, doctors say. The BBC reports that the man, who has not been named but was 54 years old, ate about one-and-a-half bags of black liquorice every day. He had suffered no symptoms before suddenly going into cardiac arrest in a fast food restaurant. Describing the man’s case in the New England Journal of Medicine, his doctors said the glycyrrhizic acid in liquorice was to blame. Dr Elazer R Edelman said studies had shown glycyrrhizic acid – the active ingredient in liquorice – could cause “hypertension, hypokalemia, metabolic alkalosis, fatal arrhythmias, and renal failure” – all of which were seen in this patient.