Does Eating Liquorice During Pregnancy Raise the Risk of ADHD?

If you are pregnant or thinking about conceiving a baby, you know how important it is to eat healthily. Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to be aware of all the ingredients in certain products, at least, without a careful research. According to a recent study undertaken by specialists from the University of Helsinki in Finland, you might want to stay away from liquorice. The study revealed that the common snack is high in glycyrrhizin, a substance which can affect the developing baby and increase the risk of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Overview of the study

The researchers involved in the study demonstrated that eating liquorice during pregnancy can increase the risk for developmental problems, with both the intellect and memory of the child being affected. The study was undertaken on 378 children with an average age of 12 ½, born in 1998. The children came from mothers who consumed different quantities of liquorice during their pregnancy (and, thus, of glycyrrhizin).

The mothers of the children who took part in the study were asked to mention how often they consumed liquorice during their pregnancy, as well as specific the brand. Thus, they analyzed their pregnancy week by week; the quantity consumed varied between 500 mg (high) and 249 mg (low) per week. In Finland, the consumption of liquorice is higher, in comparison to other countries, as there are salty snacks (salmiakki) that contain such ingredients.

What did the study reveal?

The first thing that the study demonstrated was that the girls who came from mothers who consumed high quantities of liquorice during their pregnancies presented a higher risk for early puberty. It was also proven that eating such snacks during pregnancy can affect intelligence in children, increasing the risk for behavioral problems, such as ADHD. In fact, the high consumption of liquorice during pregnancy was associated with lower results on intelligence tests, for both boys and girls.

From the 378 children who participated in the study, it was revealed that 327 had been exposed to reduced quantities of liquorice during pregnancy. However, 51 children had been exposed to high quantities, as it was mentioned above. For the study, researchers analyzed the development of the children, as well as the present signs of puberty. Developmental factors, such as the body mass index, weight and height were measured. Children were administered specific tests for intelligence, learning, and memory, while parents were asked to complete a checklist for psychiatric and behavioral problems. The neuroendocrine function was also assessed by medical specialists.

The girls who came from mothers who consumed high amounts of liquorice during pregnancy were taller, heavier and also presented a higher body mass index. They were also at risk of early puberty. For boys, no associations have been identified, between the consumption of liquorice in pregnancy and developmental changes in childhood and adolescence. Interestingly enough, the high consumption was associated with lower scores on intelligence tests, as well as with higher risks of ADHD.

Glycyrrhizin, the active ingredient responsible for all the problems

Glycyrrhizin is a natural constituent of liquorice and one that we are clearly not aware of. As this study revealed, its consumption can have a negative impact on the baby developing in the womb, increasing, among other things, the risk for ADHD. For this reason, it is recommended that pregnant women should avoid liquorice in all of its forms. This is particularly valid for liquorice root, as this contains glycyrrhizin in high quantities.

It is also important to mention that this substance is also found in other food products, beverages, and even medication. The study in Finland concentrated only on liquorice as a snack and did not include other products. However, if you are pregnant, it is recommended to always check the ingredients in a product or, if these are not present, to request additional information from the manufacturers. Given the high risk of behavioral problems, associated with the consumption of liquorice during pregnancy, such ingredients should be listed on all products, including in the prospects of various drugs. Otherwise, you could expose yourself unknowingly to serious risks.

A quick note on ADHD

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders out there, being diagnosed in children and adolescents from various countries and cultures. The first symptoms become obvious at school age, leading to poor performance and difficult social interaction. The paradox of this condition is that these children manage to maintain a moderate degree of attention for the things they consider to be interesting.

Counseling remains the standard form of treatment for children who are diagnosed with ADHD, being accompanied by lifestyle changes in the majority of cases. The administration of medication is recommended only for the severe cases, and it rarely manages to provide the desired results.

Final word

When you are pregnant, you have to think not only about yourself but also about your developing baby. You have to pay attention to the things you eat, the products that you use and especially to the medication you are taking. You will often see that liquorice is recommended as a remedy for morning sickness, as well as for its rich content in iron. In such situations, it is important to understand that the risks outweigh the advantages offered. Seek out other remedies that will help you get the deal with pregnancy symptoms just as efficiently, always talking to your doctor first.

Author Bio:

Kathy Mitchell is a writer and avid researcher on the subject of Beauty, nutrition, and general wellness. She likes to go out with her friends, travel, swim and practice yoga. In her free time, you can find Kathy curled up reading her favorite novel, or writing in her journal. She is regular Contributor at Consumer Health Digest. To Know more about her follow her on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

Advanced Biobanking for New Moms


According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention there are roughly 11,000 babies born every day. When you have a baby you are inundated with new information that comes out almost daily. Should you do cord blood banking, or not? Should you breastfeed or not? Should you circumcise or not? If you’re already a parent, think about all the things that have changed since the last time you had a baby. Chances are, even if you had a baby within the past year, there’s already been at least one change to at least one recommendation that you received since your baby was born. It’s no surprise that researchers and companies are working hard to keep us up-to-date on the latest information when it comes to the health of our babies. I think learning about new ways to keep our children happy and healthy is fascinating! Parents are doing multiple things to keep their children safe. Now parents are choosing a procedure that can save your child’s cord blood after birth.


As a new first time mom, I remember very vividly being told about cord blood banking, and not really understanding what it was meant to do. My doctor seemed to just skip over the information, instead he opted to give me a hand out to read later and mentioned that if I was interested that it was an option. Since he didn’t flat-out recommend cord blood banking to us or really take the time to explain exactly what it was, I just thought it was something really costly that I would be spending my money on and never needing to use it. As it turns out, my doctor should really consider taking the time to explain cord banking to new parents if he already isn’t because cord banking is advancing practically by the day in the ways that it can be used to save our children from illness or disease.


Cord blood banking gives new patients the option to save their child’s umbilical cord blood immediately following the birth while it still has all of the rich and healthy stem cells in it. The stem cells can morph into all sorts of blood cells.

Cord blood bank has the potential to save lives – they are researching as we speak on how to use it to save patients affected by leukemia, sickle cell anemia and many other types of metabolic disorders. With the understanding of how cord banking works as well as the consideration of the advancements in recent years and potential that cord banking has, cord banking for babies has become an easy choice as well as a necessity for any family.

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Disclosure: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions are my own and may differ from yours. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

6 Things about Getting Pregnant You Didn’t Know

Dr. Dweck PhotoStarting a family and getting pregnant can be a serious undertaking for couples who are having a bit of trouble. TTC couples who take every precaution to baby-making may lack some simple yet very critical steps that can elevate pregnancy stress. ALYSSA DWECK, MD, OB/GYN at the Mount Kisco Medical Group in Westchester County, New York provides care to women of all ages and has delivered thousands of babies offers 6 tips to about getting pregnant TTC couple might not know.

  1. You can’t get pregnant on just any day of the month. Teenagers might worry a lot less about pregnancy with a little out of the classroom SEXed regarding the menstrual cycle and fertility. Education about ovulation, peak fertility and “safe times” during the menstrual cycle whether it be from an phone app, a friend or a healthcare provider is key. This of course is not so easy if your cycles are irregular and doesn’t take the place of contraception and/or condoms, but sure is handy info nonetheless.
  1. Women can learn a lot by charting their monthly cycles. It’s amazing what your menstrual cycle can tell you whether you are trying to conceive or prevent pregnancy. Predicting ovulation doesn’t have to be complicated if you are in tune with your body. By simply tracking basal body temperature and cervical mucus changes (with simple, new apps like Kindara), women can have valuable information to plan or prevent pregnancy.
  1. Ovulation doesn’t always happen on Day 14… Newsflash! conception usually happens before ovulation. It’s not uncommon to assume that conception occurs specifically at the moment of ovulation. In fact, sperm can live up to five days in a woman’s body. The best time for intercourse is actually a few days before ovulation and a day or so afterward.
  1. Some lubricants can have a negative effect on sperm motility. Many common lubricants contain sperm-toxic ingredients, have the wrong pH or have high salt levels, all of which have may have a negative effect when trying to conceive. Even saliva and water can kill sperm and should be avoided when trying to conceive. Fertility friendly lubricants like Pre-Seed mimic cervical mucus to optimize fertility. Pre-Seed’s isotonic and pH balanced formula supports sperm on their journey through the cervix to meet the egg.
  1. A surprising number of women will experience infertility, miscarriage or both. At least 1 in every 10 women will have significant trouble gettingpregnant, and 1 in 5 will experience miscarriage at least once. These are emotional rollercoasters to say the least. Good news, there are tests and treatments to help prevent and treat the many fertility problems that we face. Rest assured, if you are facing this challenge, you are not alone.
  1. Life is full of uncertainty, but the relationships you form will be your source of strength when things don’t go as planned. Coping with the anguish and emotion of miscarriage, no matter how early or infertility, is easier with support from your partner, friends, family, clergy and healthcare provider. Community is vital and all can serve as lifelines when we face adversity.

*This blog did not receive any compensation for this publication.*


Natural Pregnancy Helpers: Nutrition Tracking Options

*Guest Post* Natural Pregnancy Helpers: Nutrition Tracking Options

During pregnancy, it’s no longer enough to track calories or simply eat, take supplements and hope for the best. Whether you’re an amateur or experienced in selecting and preparing natural foods, you’ll have to worry about getting the right micronutrients, ensuring the proper amount of macronutrients and not losing your appetite in the process.

I was new to diet tracking at the start of my pregnancy, but I was also determined to give my baby a natural start in life with as few worries of health problems as possible. The first task given to me by the nutritionist was to create a food log for a week, so she could spot any potential problems and provide advice on beneficial changes. Even after the initial review, I found it helpful to continue tracking my diet. However, I wanted a faster and less expensive method of analyzing the diary without constantly making appointments.

Electronic Conversion

The simplest solution to the problem is to find a software or mobile application that allows you to enter conventional foods and customize recipes. Some of these products are the same ones used by chain restaurants and nutritionists alike. They generally provide information way beyond what the average woman will find useful, such as cost-per-serving calculation, the ability to print U.S. Nutrition Facts labels and support for tracking hundreds of diet plans at once.

The program you need depends on the desired quality of information and the amount of time you’re willing to spend on the diary. Mobile apps generally include a barcode scanner and access to a database of nutrient profiles for popular foods. It’s worth trying out several before making any purchases, of course. Some include the ability to track exercise, but I already had software for that with my heart rate monitor. An important thing to keep in mind is that no tracker placed value on probiotic foods or antioxidant ratings. 

Back to Basics

A pen-and-paper journal is still a great option provided you spend the time to make entries each day and dedicate a couple of hours each week to analyzing your nutrition profile. You won’t have to worry with excluded nutrients using this option. 

In the end, both methods will help you identify several favorite meals that are nutrient dense. You’ll find yourself getting just enough variety to provide the full range of micro-nutrients without going overboard.

As always, make sure to double-check with your doctor before making any drastic pregnancy changes. I was fortunate enough to have a doctor I could confide in and helped me with everything- from swaddling to cord blood banking. Being healthy and living naturally can enhance your pregnancy from start to baby, and even after birth!

Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.

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