A woman who tried to drink a liter of soy sauce in under two hours in an effort to “cleanse” her body ended up with a very different result — cardiac arrest and severe nerve damage.
The strange medical crisis was described by a University of Illinois medical professor, who recounts unusual medical cases on his YouTube channel. As the video noted, the woman was trying something known as a soy sauce cleanse, which purported to help release toxins from the body. The cleanse called on her to drink a liter of soy sauce in less than two hours, but instead, the woman began to suffer serious medical complications soon after consuming the food flavoring.
The woman eventually went into cardiac arrest and had to be rushed to the hospital, where doctors struggled to stabilize her. The woman went in an out of consciousness and woke up a few days later having lost the ability to speak or swallow. Doctors diagnosed her with something called central pontine myelinolysis, which is severe nerve damage. In the woman’s case, it was caused by introducing dangerous levels of sodium into her body in a very short time frame.
The woman’s strange story has attracted viral attention on the internet. Health.com featured her story and expanded a bit on the dangers of consuming so much sodium in such a short time period.
“One of the roles of sodium is to regulate fluid balance in and around cells,” said Cynthia Sass, Health contributing nutrition editor. “When so much sodium is ingested so quickly, it completely throws off that balance, which in the case of brain cells can result in severe damage and dysfunction.”
The report warned against trying the so-called “soy sauce cleanse,” which some identified as a hoax meant to trick people into drinking the salty liquid. Search results for “soy sauce cleanse” revealed almost nothing about the reported diet fad itself and results almost entirely about the YouTube video documenting the woman’s medical crisis after trying it.
A woman went brain dead after trying a soy sauce cleanse that recommended drinking a liter in a 2-hour period https://t.co/C9AuUuo3KY— INSIDER (@thisisinsider) December 11, 2018
The story led others to speak out against the dangers of fad diets, which often have dangerous complications in the name of losing weight.
Some experts said that things like the “soy sauce cleanse” should never be attempted.
“If something sounds too good to be true or a little nutty, like telling you to eat one thing only, then it probably is too good to be true,” nutrition expert Frances Largeman-Roth told INSIDER.