A woman who attempted to cleanse her body by drinking a liter of soy sauce in under two hours suffered from serious consequences. The unproven health fad left her with brain damage.
Soy Sauce Cleanse
In a video posted on his YouTube channel Chubbyemu, who claims to be a University of Illinois adjunct medical professor, revealed that after chugging large amounts of soy sauce, the 39-year-old woman went in and out of consciousness, had a cardiac arrest, and developed severe nerve damage.
Soy sauce contains high amounts of sodium, an electrolyte mineral that carries an electrical charge in the body. The idea is that the toxins will follow the sodium as it passes through a person's body.
Unfortunately for the woman, she suffered from central pontine myelinolysis after attempting the soy sauce cleanse.
Central Pontine Myelinolysis
The neurological disorder most often happens when the sodium levels of the body increase quickly. The rapid rise in sodium concentration pulls water from the brain cells and is accompanied by movement of small molecules that damage the myelin, a substance that protects the nerve fibers, and the neurons.
The symptoms of central pontine myelinolysis include difficulty speaking and swallowing, tremors, poor balance, weakened muscles, delayed responses and reflexes, and reduced awareness.
The condition can also become so severe that the patient's muscles could become paralyzed. Worse, the patient may end up in coma or die.
"One of the roles of sodium is to regulate fluid balance in and around cells," Health contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass said. "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."
While some CPM patients die, many are able to recover. Early diagnosis can improve the outlook. Those who manage to recover, however, still need to undergo therapy and receive supportive care.
Chubbyemu said that the patient regained consciousness four days after arriving at the hospital, but she was not able to move her limbs and had difficulty speaking and swallowing.
Prior to ingesting large amounts of soy sauce, the woman was already in a fragile state of health, eating only white bread and canned fish for the past six month.