Excess of anything is bad, and we’ve got yet another proof of it. Usually, we’re all advised to drink around 3 liters of water per day. But apparently, even drinking excess water and fluids could kill you as that’s what could have happened to Bruce Lee. The Martial Arts legend died in Hong Kong on July 20, 1973, of cerebral edema, i.e. swelling of the brain. At least that’s what it was reported to be. But now almost 5 decades after his demise, a new study suggests that the cause of his death could be drinking a lot of water.
Theories About Bruce Lee’s Demise
In the past, we’ve come across several theories revealing how Bruce Lee may have expired. It has been claimed that he could have been the victim of an assassination by triad gangsters or perhaps poisoned purposely or accidentally after he consumed tainted aspirin. And other theories have also suggested that Lee simply perished because he suffered a heat stroke. But maybe it was none of that. With new research coming to light, it is possible that Bruce Lee died of hyponatremia.
What is Hyponatremia?
In technical terms, Hyponatremia is a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in a person’s blood is too low. In this state, the body begins to hold more water than it is capable of which results in a lower percentage of sodium in the blood. And according to a study published in the December issue of Clinical Kidney Journal, something like this happened to Bruce Lee.
It is known that Lee injured his kidneys doing martial arts, was a user of marijuana, and had a fluid-based diet that included alcohol and a lot of juices. So all of this could have led to hyponatremia as these life instances may have prevented his regular excretion of water through efficient urination.
In their research, a group of doctors from the Autonomous University in Madrid claimed that the 32-year-old actor “died from a specific form of kidney dysfunction.” They wrote:
“We hypothesize that Bruce Lee died from a specific form of kidney dysfunction: the inability to excrete enough water to maintain water homeostasis. This may lead to hyponatraemia, cerebral oedema and death within hours if excess water intake is not matched by water excretion in urine.
Given that hyponatraemia is frequent, as is found in up to 40% of hospitalized persons and may cause death due to excessive water ingestion even in young healthy persons, there is a need for a wider dissemination of the concept that excessive water intake can kill.”
So, his hyponatremia could have caused the swelling of his brain.
The researchers even concluded that what happened with Lee was quite ironic as he made famous the quote ‘Be water my friend.’ Ultimately, excess water is what killed him.
Source: Clinical Kidney Journal