Bruce Lee’s death caused by too much water, a new study suggests

Bruce Lee’s death caused by too much water, a new study suggests

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It’s been almost 50 years since Bruce Lee died. The actor and martial arts icon died suddenly on July 20, 1973 in Hong Kong, with officials at the time ruling the cause was cerebral edema – brain swelling, amid much speculation. However, a new research paper proposes that Lee’s death was caused by his “inability of the kidneys to excrete excess water.”

The study, conducted by a group of kidney specialists in Spain, was published in the December 2022 edition of the Clinical Kidney Journal.

The authors claim that Lee, who was 32 years old at his death, possessed “multiple risk factors for hyponatremia,” meaning an abnormally low concentration of sodium in a person’s blood, citing the actor’s “chronic fluid intake,” use of marijuana ( which increases thirst). ) and documented factors that may have interfered with his kidney’s function, such as prescription drugs, alcohol consumption, and a history of injuries to the organ. Although he had taken a medication used for pain and anxiety (meprobamate and aspirin)

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“We hypothesize that Bruce Lee died of a specific form of renal dysfunction: the inability to excrete enough water to maintain water homeostasis…. This can lead to hyponatremia, cerebral edema and death within hours if excessive water intake is not associated with the excretion of water in the urine,” the paper concludes. “Since hyponatremia is common, as is found in up to 40% of hospitalized individuals and can cause death even in young healthy individuals due to excessive intake of water , there is a need for a wider dissemination of the concept that excessive water intake can be deadly.”

The abrupt nature of Lee’s death has been a matter of fervent speculation for decades, with some fans over the years even hypothesizing that the star was murdered. A 2018 book, “Bruce Lee: A Life,” hypothesized that he died of heat exhaustion, but the current study did not find that temperatures were abnormally high that day. The study hypothesized that even though he hadn’t been drinking a lot of water, his kidneys may not be able to handle even normal amounts of fluid. In addition, he reportedly had been on an almost liquid diet of mostly juices.

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