Licorice: a sweet alternative to prevent hyperkalemia in dialysis patients?
Kidney Int. 2009 Oct;76(8):811-2. PMID: 19789539
In patients on hemodialysis, Farese et al. report that inhibition of the enzyme 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 by glycyrrhetinic acid, the active compound of licorice, reduces serum potassium concentration and the frequency of hyperkalemia, possibly by enhancing intestinal potassium loss. This finding could be an important tool to maintain predialysis [K(+)] within safe limits in some dialysis patients at risk of hyperkalemic arrhythmias.