NEW YORK (VINnews) — After reading this story people may have second thoughts about their Coca-Cola habits.
A Chinese man allegedly died of a fatal gas buildup in his stomach after ingesting a massive amount of Coca-Cola in 10 minutes. The freak accident was described in the journal “Clinics and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology.”
The 22-year-old Beijing resident drank an entire 1.5 liter bottle of Coke in order to maintain hydration during a heatwave, according to a report by the Daily Mail. However the fizzy drink caused him to experience sharp pains and a distended stomach and he was admitted to Beijing’s Chaoyang hospital.
Tests taken by the hospital revealed that the patient, who had no previous health issues, was suffering from an elevated heart rate, low blood pressure and rapid breathing. Moreover, due to the gas accumulating in his intestines, he was suffering from hepatic ischemia, a condition which causes the liver to suffer shock due to lack of oxygen.
Doctors tried desperately to release the gas trapped in the man’s digestive system as well as administering medication to help his liver and other major organs but despite their efforts the man’s condition worsened and he passed away 18 hours later. Doctors who studied the death of the man concluded that he had died from pneumatosis, an abnormal build-up of gas in the man’s intestines and portal vein. Experts also suggested that pneumatosis might have attacked the young man as he drank a large amount of Coca-Cola in a very few minutes.
However, some medical experts were skeptical about concluding that the man had died from a Coca-Cola overdose.
“The chances of 1.5 litres, or a little over three pints, of a regular soft drink being fatal would be very, very unlikely, I mean, staggeringly unlikely,” Professor Nathan Davies, a biochemist at University College London, told MailOnline. Davies concluded that the man must have been suffering from a bacterial infection which caused pockets of gas in the intestinal wall which then leaked into other major organs.
The chemistry professor added that while the soft drink could’ve contributed to the problem, it likely wasn’t the prevailing factor in his passing.
“It’s possible, but not necessary that likely, that drinking a large amount of carbonated drink could have had an exacerbating affect,” he said. “But with no underlying condition it is very hard to see what could have happened.”
Experts agree that soda-induced health problems are generally more minor and long-term. Nonetheless, the US Framingham Heart Study found that consuming just one can of soda per day has been associated with myriad problems including obesity, increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart attack, stroke, poor memory, smaller brain volume and even dementia.
Last June, medical examiners ruled that a New Zealand woman who consumed 2 gallons of Cola per day may have died from complications linked to her excessive caffeine consumption.