Kung fu legend Bruce Lee may have died from drinking too much water, doctors say nearly 50 years after he passed away.
The supreme martial arts star and Hollywood star died at the age of 32 in the summer of 1973 while in Hong Kong.
An autopsy at the time showed that Bruce had died from brain swelling, which doctors put down to his taking a painkiller.
His untimely death sparked rumors that he may have been killed by Chinese gangsters, poisoned by a jealous lover, or the victim of a curse. Another theory was that he died of heat stroke.
Now, investigators have reviewed the evidence to rule that Bruce likely died of hyponatremia.
“In other words, we propose that the kidney’s inability to excrete excess water killed Bruce Lee,” the team wrote in the Clinical Kidney Journal.
The mysterious death of movie star and martial artist Bruce Lee may have been the result of drinking too much water, according to a new study.
Bruce’s untimely passing sparked rumors that he may have been murdered by Chinese gangsters, poisoned by a jealous lover, or the victim of a curse. Another theory was that he died of heat stroke (Pictured: Bruce in Way Of The Dragon)
Hyponatremia means that the level of sodium in your blood, which your body needs to balance fluids, is abnormally low.
An imbalance causes cells in the body to swell, including those in the brain.
The study claims that Bruce had multiple risk factors for hyponatremia, including drinking large amounts of fluids, using cannabis, which increases thirst, as well as other factors that decrease the capacity of the kidneys, such as the use of prescription drugs and alcohol. .
His wife Linda revealed how Bruce had a liquid-based diet of carrot and apple juice in the lead up to his death.
Who was Bruce Lee?
Bruce Lee, whose Chinese name was Li Jun Fan, was an American-born actor known for his martial arts skills who helped popularize martial arts movies in the 1970s.
Bruce was born in San Francisco in 1940 but grew up in Hong Kong.
He started appearing in movies as a child and learned Kung fu as a teenager.
Bruce’s parents were concerned about his street fighting and sent him back to live in the United States when he was 18 years old.
He caught the eye of a movie producer while giving a kung fu demonstration at a karate competition in Los Angeles.
He was cast as Kato’s sidekick in The Green Hornet (1966-67).
After struggling to find work, he returned to Hong Kong in 1971 and starred in two record-breaking films in Asia.
He took advantage of his sudden success to start his own company and filmed The Way of the Dragon.
His next film, Enter the Dragon, was the first joint venture between production companies from Hong Kong and the United States.
And Matthew Polly, who wrote the biography. Bruce Lee, a life in 2018, it refers to the repeated ingestion of water on the night of his death.
The study concluded: ‘We hypothesize that Bruce Lee died from a specific form of kidney dysfunction: the inability to excrete enough water to maintain water homeostasis, which is primarily a tubular function.
“This can lead to hyponatremia, cerebral edema (swelling of the brain) and death within hours if excessive water intake is not matched by water excretion in the urine, which is in line with the timeline of the Lee’s death.”
The researchers wrote that the fact that water consumption was noted when it is “such a common activity” means it was likely “notably higher” than those around him on the day of his death.
Bruce has also been reported to have used cannabis frequently, describing himself in a letter as “high as hell”.
Cannabis use can increase thirst and Mr. Polly refers in his book to repeated use of the substance on July 20, 1973, the day Bruce died.
The researchers suggest that this may have led Bruce to drink excessive water.
“Ironically, Lee made the quote ‘I know water my friend’ famous, but too much water seems to have ultimately killed him,” they wrote.
Bruce’s death came just weeks before the release of Enter the dragon the first major western produced kung fu film.
He nearly went missing in May 1973 after collapsing and having spasms after an editing session in a non-air-conditioned dubbing room.
Bruce appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and was portrayed by Mike Moh.
Last year, his daughter criticized Tarantino’s portrayal of her late father, saying it reminded her of how “white Hollywood” had treated him.
In an open letter published by The Hollywood Reporter in July 2021, Shannon, 52, made her feelings clear, writing that she’s “really tired of white men in Hollywood trying to tell me who Bruce Lee was.”
‘Why does Quentin Tarantino talk like he knows Bruce Lee and hates him? It seems strange since he never met Bruce Lee, right? Shannon started the column.
Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, responded directly to Quentin Tarantino, after the auteur again defended his portrayal of her martial arts master father in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (Pictured: Shannon in 2019)
“As you know, Mr. Tarantino’s portrayal of Bruce Lee in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood was, in my opinion, inaccurate and unnecessary, to say the least,” he later wrote, adding: “I’m fucking tired of white men in Hollywood trying to tell me who Bruce Lee was.
“I’m tired of hearing from white men in Hollywood that I was arrogant and a jerk when they have no idea and can’t comprehend what it might have cost to get a job in 1960s and 1970s Hollywood as a Chinese man with (God forbid) an accent , or trying to express an opinion about a set as a perceived foreigner and a person of color,’ he continued.
I am tired of white men in Hollywood mistaking his confidence, passion and skill for arrogance and therefore finding it necessary to marginalize him and his contributions.
“I’m tired of white men in Hollywood finding it too hard to believe that Bruce Lee could have been really good at what he did and maybe even knew how to do it better than they did.”
Speaking on the Joe Rogan podcast, Tarantino pushed back on his comments, saying Lee was “sort of an arrogant guy.” The way he talked, I didn’t make it up too much.
‘Where I come from is… I can understand your daughter having a problem with that. It’s her fucking father, he’s fine, I get it. But anyone else, go suck s**t’, Tarantino said lightly, while Rogan laughed.
What is hyponatremia?
Hyponatremia means that the level of sodium in the blood is below normal and is the most common electrolyte disorder. It is more common in elderly people.
Your body needs sodium to balance fluids and control blood pressure, nerves, and muscles.
The normal level of sodium in the blood is 135 to 145 milliequivalents per liter.
What causes hyponatremia?
Causes of hyponatremia include:
Excessive thirst: causes excessive fluid intake.
Kidney failure – the kidneys are unable to remove excess fluid from the body
Congestive heart failure – excess fluid builds up in the body
Diuretics (water pills): make the body remove more sodium in the urine.
Severe vomiting or diarrhea – the body loses a lot of fluid and sodium
Antidepressants and pain medications – can cause more sweating and urination than normal
What are the symptoms of hyponatremia?
Symptoms of hyponatremia include:
Nausea or vomiting
Low blood pressure
Muscle weakness, spasms, or cramps
restlessness or bad temper
Headache, confusion, or fatigue
Seizures or coma
How is hyponatremia treated?
Treatment for hyponatremia varies depending on the severity, but the first step may be to reduce the amount of fluids you drink or adjust your use of diuretics (water pills).
Your GP may also recommend an intravenous drip of sodium solution, prescribe medication for sodium retention or dialysis.