Mum always warned us, didn’t she? “Whatever you do, don’t drink soy sauce,” she would say. She told us time and again, but for some people apparently that didn’t quite sink in.
Take, for example, the 39-year-old American woman, known only as “CG”, whose case was shared by Dr Bernard on his YouTube channel devoted to unusual medical cases. CG had viewed an online video that told her drinking soy sauce would cleanse her colon of toxins. This is the kind of video that tends to proliferate in a society that has failed to implement adequate security protocols around Gwyneth Paltrow, but CG took it as gospel, and accordingly down a whole litre of soy sauce, looking forward to the excellent health she would enjoy as a result.
Instead, the unfortunate lady went into cardiac arrest due to the massive salt overdose the sauce induced. She was found to have 200g of sodium in her blood – a level doctors would usually consider five times a lethal dose. With this in mind, maybe we can say that CG got lucky, in that doctors were able to treat her before the sauce proved fatal, and diluted the sodium levels. However, the rapid changes left her with permanent nerve damage – a condition called pontine myelinolysis leaving her unable to speak, swallow or move her limbs.
Dr Bernard said that CG was unusual in being able to consume so much soy sauce without either vomiting or drinking massive amounts of water to address her dehydration. He added, in case we needed the extra info, that drinking a litre of soy sauce was not recommended by medical professionals.
So there’s a cautionary tale for you: next time you feel like drinking condiments by the litre, think again.