Question Concerning Safety Of Licorice In FloControl®

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My wife would like to take your FloControl® formula. We showed the list of ingredients to our doctor (of integrative medicine). He thinks that she suffers from atrial fibrillation and said it may not be advisable for her because it contains Licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis).

Could you please give me your opinion and the amount of licorice contained in one capsule of FloControl?

Ingo F. Jaeschke

1 COMMENT

  1. Dear Ingo,

    We appreciate your doctors concern about the licorice in FloControl, but wish to reassure you and him that it will not have the slightest effect on your wife’s blood pressure or atrial fibrillation.

    Please note that licorice is the last ingredient listed on the label for our proprietary blend, and ingredient quantity is always listed from largest to smallest. As such, the licorice in each capsule is less than 5%, so about 2.5 mg. per capsule.

    The only active ingredient in licorice known to elevate blood pressure is glycyrrhizic acid (GA), likely due to its possible impact on sodium retention. Safety studies have established that 100 mg. of GA per day from licorice is the lowest observed amount that could cause an adverse effect after 2+ weeks of consumption. Since GA is maximally about 4% of the active ingredients in licorice powders, the amount of GA per FloControl capsule is about 4% X 2.5 mg. or 0.1 mg. per capsule.

    Even if you lowered the possible threshold of GA consumption that could cause an adverse effect to 50 mg. per day, it would take 500 capsules of FloControl daily to get to half the level that could cause a problem. Since our maximum recommendation for FloControl is 9 capsules daily, it is not possible to get enough GA from the licorice in the formula to cause a problem.

    That licorice can elevate blood pressure is not totally an urban myth, however. Licorice root powders are often prescribed by western herbalists to counter inflammation at doses of 2 or more grams per day. That is why manufacturers have developed licorice products without GA, called deglycyrrhizinated licorice so that people using licorice daily in such large quantities as an anti-inflammatory substance or to treat stomach ulcers would not encounter blood pressure problems.

    Many people with atrial fibrillation are put on the drastic blood thinning drug warfarin/coumadin to prevent dangerous clot formation. If that is the case for your wife, she should make sure any supplements she takes are reviewed by her doctor. Otherwise, we hope that she gets the best of all possible results with FloControl.

    John Steinke, L.Ac.

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