Woman left permanently paralyzed after drinking an entire litre of soy sauce in one sitting
If you're making a stir fry or tucking into some sushi and you're in need of a little flavour kick, then I think you could do a lot worse than adding a drop or two of soy sauce. Spices and oils are all well and good, but soy sauce is the hinge by which your supper swings, pivoting from sweet to savoury depending on whether you go for light or dark.
But be careful, food lovers. Like most flavourings seemingly borne from the heavens, soy sauce is packed with sodium, and one woman found that out the hard way, when she tried to drink an entire litre of the stuff, and was left feeling decidedly unwell as a result. She had a heart attack, and was left paralysed as a result of a huge intake in sodium.
The 39-year-old, so far only known as CG, was identified in a case study discussed in detail by YouTuber Dr Bernard on his channel Chubbyemu. After watching a video which claimed that drinking soy sauce would help to relieve her colon of toxins, CG drank a litre of soy sauce.
Federal Dietary Guidelines suggest consuming no more than 2.5 g of sodium a day, but when she was taken to hospital she was found to have 200g (over five times the lethal limit) in her bloodstream. Her husband had found her collapsed after drinking the sauce, and she went into cardiac arrest on her way to the hospital.
CG's husband says that his wife had been suffering from poor physical and mental health for a long time, addinging that she'd been less than her best for about six months before the ill-fated soy sauce ingestion. She'd been living off a diet of white bread and canned fish, and had recently been hospitalised for paranoid schizophrenia.
"The correct part is that wherever sodium is, water will flow towards it," explained Dr Bernard in his video, before explaining how the idea of a soy sauce cleanse is based only on "half-truths". "CG was told the soy sauce would stay in her colon. Toxin-filled water would then flow in and she'd be cleansed, but that's not how it happens."
In reality, what did happen was that water flowed toward the sodium, but crucially, away from her liver, kidneys and the rest of her vital organs. She was left severely dehydrated, and although doctors did their best to remove all of the excess salt from her system, CG was left with irreversible nerve damage.
Drifting in and out of consciousness over three days, she opened her eyes on the fourth, but was unable to move her arms or legs, speak, or even swallow. Doctors concluded she had central pontine myelinolysis, a neurological disorder that occurs when nerve cells cannot properly transmit signals to each other, but Dr Bernard suspected she may have also been suffering from undiagnosed gluten intolerance.
Living on a diet of white bread would have exacerbated her symptoms and may have left her delirious, Bernard explains, saying this altered state of mind could have seen her fall for the hoax.