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What Bruce Lee actually died from: the great fighter was not killed by a blow or an aspirin tablet

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

A photo: frame from the film.

Everyone who in their youth was fond of martial arts and collected posters with Bruce Lee is at least ghostly familiar with his philosophy: “I say, empty your mind, be amorphous, shapeless, like water. You pour water into a cup, it becomes a cup.”

Dramatically, it was the water that could overwhelm Lee so much that he passed away at the rather innocent age of 32. Spanish scientists came to this version, who did not believe in the voiced version of Bruce’s death. So many times he got hit on the head, torso, legs, broke bamboo and various types of wood, and died …from a headache.

The official version of the mysterious death is as follows: on July 20, 1973, the actor and fighter arrived at the home of Hong Kong actress Betty Ting to study the script at her request. Suddenly, Li got a headache, and Ting gave him a strong aspirin-based drug called Equajestic (which contains not only aspirin, but also the tranquilizer meprobamate). Bruce then retired to the bedroom, where he was found unconscious a few hours later. The doctor who arrived at the scene could not bring Bruce Lee back to life, and death was declared in the emergency hospital.

Photo: frame from the film.

Photo: frame from the film.

Doctors found that the main version of the actor’s death was an allergic reaction that provoked cerebral edema. There were also more fantastic hypotheses. For example, an actor could be killed by another martial artist or a person hired by the Chinese mafia. It was also assumed that Li died due to the removal of the sweat glands, which led to overheating of the body and a huge load on the heart. In addition, versions of an epileptic seizure and heat stroke were considered.

However, in a recent study by a serious scientific journal Clinical Kidney Journal stated: Bruce Lee died due to hyponatremia (insufficient sodium levels in the blood plasma). This condition could be caused by heavy drinking. He was so fond of water that he caused a critical decrease in sodium in the blood, which had a lethal effect. The actor’s wife Linda Emery and doctors noticed that he often refused solid food.

“According to Linda, in recent months, her husband stopped eating solid food and lived exclusively on carrots and apple juice,” the paper says. This pattern of eating only liquid foods may explain the weight loss that accelerated between May and July 1973.

Contributing to the risk of hyponatremia was increased alcohol consumption, which was noted by the actor’s friends in the last months of his life, he could “drink 10-12 bottles of sake per evening.”

Scientists led by Priscilla Villalvaso from the Autonomous University of Madrid noticed that the drug was taken by the actor after symptoms indicating a possible brain edema (which was diagnosed two months before his death), besides, Bruce Lee took this drug before. There were no problems with this.

“Cerebral edema would not be the only autopsy evidence if hypersensitivity to the drug was indeed the cause of death,” the study states. “We assume that Bruce Lee died from a specific form of kidney dysfunction: an inability to excrete enough water to maintain water homeostasis. This could lead to hyponatremia, cerebral edema, and death within hours if the increased water intake was not balanced by urinary excretion, consistent with events preceding death. The fact that 60% of our body is water does not protect us from the potentially fatal consequences of drinking more water than our kidneys can handle.

Of course, now every second nutritionist, endocrinologist and healthy lifestyle specialist talks about the need to drink water, water and only water. As much water as possible, preferably with lemon! Only few people take into account the burden on the kidneys in case of excessive drinking, as well as other side effects. Excessive passion for water in the situation with Bruce Lee may confirm (or maybe not) the version of the actor’s addiction to weed, because it is this addiction that is said to cause permanent thirst.

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