Mystery of Bruce Lee's death may finally have been solved after 49 years

Callum Jones

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Mystery of Bruce Lee's death may finally have been solved after 49 years

Featured Image Credit: CONCORD PROD. / GOLDEN HARVEST GROUP / Album / Alamy Stock Photo

Famous movie martial artist Bruce Lee died unexpectedly in 1973 when he was just 32-years-old.

As he was so young, many have debated the reason for his death in all the years since.

The conspiracy theories got that out of control that former co-star Jackie Chan had to debunk them:

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The theories ranged from poison, being killed by the Triad, to an ancient Chinese curse.

But Chan said on Sway's Universe: "He died in somebody's house."

"Just a normal dying in somebody's house. That's all."

At the time, an autopsy revealed that Lee's brain was hugely swollen, and he had taken the painkiller drug Equagesic.

It was believed that he died from a cerebral edema - a swelling of the brain - as result of taking the drug.

But that autopsy, which many would usually find reliable, hasn't stopped people talking and speculating on the star's true cause of death.

And a new study, nearly 50 years on from the death of the martial artist, has come up with a new theory - but this one has a lot of research behind it.

Mystery surrounding Bruce Lee's passing has remained all these years. Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo
Mystery surrounding Bruce Lee's passing has remained all these years. Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

On the day he passed away, the Enter the Dragon star allegedly 'experienced headache and dizziness in the evening' before being found unresponsive two hours after taking Equagesic, as per Metro.

In their findings, however, the team have concluded that Lee did indeed die from a cerebral oedema, which likely happened because he was drinking too much water, rather than taking the painkiller as suggested by the autopsy.

In the study, the team of researchers said: "We now propose, based on an analysis of publicly available information, that the cause of death was cerebral oedema due to hyponatraemia."

Hyponatremia means that the sodium level in the blood is below normal, which can be fatal.

This occurs when a person's fluid intake exceeds the kidneys' ability to filter it out of the blood.

Following Lee's death, it was believed that he had given up solid food, and his drink variety was apparently not much better.

Lee is now considered an icon of martial arts all over the world. Credit: Stefano Politi Markovina / Alamy Stock Photo
Lee is now considered an icon of martial arts all over the world. Credit: Stefano Politi Markovina / Alamy Stock Photo

In the conclusion to the study, the researchers said: "In summary, Lee had multiple risk factors predisposing to hyponatraemia resulting from interference with water homeostasis mechanisms that regulate both water intake and water excretion.

"We hypothesize that Bruce Lee died from a specific form of kidney dysfunction: the inability to excrete enough water to maintain water homeostasis."

Topics: Celebrity, Film and TV

Callum Jones
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