Bruce Lee may have died from too much water, scientists say

A new study aims to shed light on the death of acclaimed movie star and martial artist Bruce Lee.

That Enter the dragon The actor died in July 1973 at the age of 32 from complications of cerebral edema (swelling of the brain).

The swelling was thought to be a reaction to the sedative meprobamate, which was part of a pain reliever called Equagesic that Lee was given.

However, a team of researchers has now suspected that the edema was caused by hyponatremia. “In other words, we propose that the kidney’s inability to excrete excess water killed Bruce Lee,” the scientists wrote in the article published in Clinical Kidney Journal.

Several factors suggest that Lee was drinking unusual amounts of fluids at the time due to his diet, which consisted of lots of juices and protein drinks, and use of marijuana, which causes increased thirst.

“In summary, Lee had multiple risk factors that predisposed to hyponatremia, which resulted from disruption of water homeostasis mechanisms that regulate both water intake and water excretion,” the researchers wrote.

“We suspect Bruce Lee died from a specific form of renal dysfunction: the inability to excrete enough water to maintain water homeostasis.”

(Glass House Images/Shutterstock)

They concluded, “Ironically, Lee made the quote ‘Be water my friend’ famous, but excess water seems to have killed him in the end.”

Lee was reimagined in Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film, Once upon a time in Hollywood.

One scene shows Brad Pitt throwing the martial arts legend (played by Mike Moh) into a car after Lee challenges Cliff (Pitt) to a fight.

Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee condemned Tarantino for his portrayal of her father, calling him “irresponsible” for portraying Lee as “an arrogant asshole full of hot air.”

In an appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast last year, Tarantino addressed the controversy, saying, “So, where I’m from, I can understand his daughter having an issue with this. It’s her fucking father. Everyone else: go suck ad***.” Bruce Lee may have died from too much water, scientists say


JOE HERNANDEZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JOE HERNANDEZ joined USTimeToday in 2022 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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