“We hypothesise that Bruce Lee died from a specific form of kidney dysfunction: the inability to excrete enough water to maintain water homeostasis,” wrote the researchers, a group of doctors from Autonomous University in Madrid.
“This may lead to hyponatraemia, cerebral oedema and death within hours if excess water intake is not matched by water excretion in urine.
“Given that hyponatraemia is frequent, as is found in up to 40 per cent of hospitalised persons and may cause death due to excessive water ingestion even in young healthy persons, there is a need for a wider dissemination of the concept that excessive water intake can kill.”
The researchers noted the hyponatraemia may have caused the brain swelling doctors found in 1973.
“Lee made famous the quote ‘Be water my friend’, but excess water appears to have ultimately killed him,” the researchers conclude.
Theories have long circulated about Lee’s cause of death, including claims he suffered heatstroke, poisoning – possibly accidentally after consuming tainted aspirin – or an assassination by triad gangsters.
The idea of a supernatural family curse has also been floated – a theory apparently reverse-engineered after Lee’s son Brandon’s accidental death while filming The Crow in 1993.
The news is published by EMEA Tribune & SCMP