Women who eat lots of liquorice during pregnancy could be affecting their child’s behaviour and intelligence, according to experts, reports the BBC.
Children of mums who ate a lot of liquorice when pregnant didn’t perform as well as other children in tests, researchers from Edinburgh and Helsinki universities found. A component of liquorice, glycyrrhizin, may allow stress hormones to pass from mum to her unborn baby. These stress hormones are believed to impact on foetal brain development, and they’ve been connected with behavioural disorders in past studies.
The study looked at 8-year-olds born in Finland, where eating liquorice is common. The results indicate mums who ate the equivalent of 100g of pure liquorice were more likely to have children with more behaviourial issues and lower intelligence levels.
A previous study suggested that eating liquorice might be linked to shorter pregnancies.