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Surprisingly small amount of soy sauce can actually kill you

Surprisingly small amount of soy sauce can actually kill you

It turns out it doesn't take much of the stuff to be dangerous

There's not very much that a dash or two of soy sauce won't improve, thanks to its addictive, salty flavour - whether it's a plate of gloriously sticky stir-fried noodles or a big vat of homemade soup that's lacking that certain something.

Those little plastic fish bottles you get with packets of sushi? Never enough, frankly.

However, as with all things that taste great, you have to consume it in moderation.

Yep, just like chocolate, alcohol and chips - all of the finer things in life, I know - there’s only so much of anything you should be having in a short space of time.

In fact, it's pretty crucial you don't have too much soy sauce, because it can actually be quite dangerous - so much so, that you could even die if you overindulge.

It's all down to the amount of salt in soy sauce, which is obviously what makes it taste so good, but also what serves as its downside if eaten in large quantities.

But while you're unlikely to have quite as much as it takes to kill you, it's worth remember that it surprisingly doesn't take much.

There's very little that soy sauce doesn't improve.
Arek Socha/Pixabay

Soy sauce has been making our food taste that bit better for around 2,000 years, remaining pretty much as it is to this day.

However, it’s really toxic if you have too much of it, because there’s about 900 milligrams of salt in a single tablespoon of the stuff.

There are a few well-documented cases of people ingesting too much soy sauce.

For example, in 2013 a 19-year-old man downed a quart – about two pints – of soy sauce and ended up in the emergency room in a coma.

The doctor who treated him, David J Carlberg, said: “He didn't respond to any of the stimuli that we gave him,

“He had some clonus, which is just elevated reflexes. Basically the nervous system wasn't working very well.”

He was suffering with hypernatremia, which is when the body tries to regulate salt levels between blood and tissue by moving fluid out of that tissue.

It can cause fatal build-ups of fluid in places like the lungs, as well as causing bleeds on the brain as it shrinks when water leaves it.

Remember, everything in moderation.
StockSnap/Pixabay

Basically, it’s not good.

In the case of this person, he was treated very quickly, but he still had three days before regaining consciousness and mental faculties.

He was really lucky though, as fatal levels can be much lower than what he consumed.

There was another woman who wasn’t as lucky, as she consumed a load of soy sauce after suffering from depression.

Despite doctors' best efforts to help, she died from a pulmonary oedema as a result of the fluid on her lungs, although doctors observed that she also had severe brain damage.

The lethal dosage of salt is broadly between 0.75 grams per kilogram of body weight to four grams per kilogram of body weight, meaning that the average person – weighing about 68 kilos - would need to consume 135 grams of salt, or around 7.5 tablespoons.

One cup of soy sauce contains about 14 grams of salt.

So next time you’re thinking of over-seasoning, just make sure you don’t do it drastically wrong.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Topics: Food And Drink, World News