Food / Drink

Lethal Consequences Of Consuming Excessive Soy Sauce


Soy sauce serves as a flexible condiment with the ability to enhance a diverse array of dishes. However, were you aware that an unexpectedly large quantity of it could be fatal?

Its flavorful umami essence harmonizes well with dishes spanning from soups to sandwiches, endearing it as a cherished addition to culinary creations.

Nevertheless, akin to numerous positive aspects, moderation holds the utmost importance.


Similar to chocolate, alcohol, and chips, overindulging in soy sauce can lead to significant consequences.

Though the chances of excessive consumption are slim, it's crucial to grasp the fact that consuming an excessive amount of soy sauce can pose serious risks, potentially even resulting in a fatality.

The risk stems from the elevated salt concentration found within soy sauce.

Approximately 900 milligrams of salt are packed into just one tablespoon of this flavorful liquid, a significant quantity that could potentially surpass the body's ability to handle.


Ingesting substantial amounts of soy sauce can result in hypernatremia, a condition where the body seeks to restore salt balance by extracting fluids from tissues.

Such a scenario could lead to deadly accumulations of fluids in essential organs such as the lungs, and could even trigger cerebral bleeding as the brain contracts due to dehydration.

Instances have been recorded where individuals have suffered from excessive soy sauce consumption.


Back in 2013, a 19-year-old consumed a significant quantity, approximately two pints, of soy sauce, which led to them falling into a coma.

The physician attending to his case, David J. Carlberg, conveyed to LiveScience: "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."


Fortunately, timely medical intervention was administered, although it required three days for him to recover consciousness and fully regain cognitive capabilities.

Sadly, another person, a woman grappling with depression, consumed an excessive quantity of soy sauce.

Despite medical interventions, she ultimately succumbed to pulmonary edema resulting from fluid buildup in her lungs, accompanied by severe brain damage.


To provide context, the fatal amount of salt varies between 0.75 and 4 grams per kilogram of body weight.

In practical terms, an individual of average weight, approximately 68 kilograms, would have to ingest 135 grams of salt, roughly equivalent to 7.5 tablespoons.

Approximately 14 grams of salt can be found in a cup of soy sauce, underscoring the potential danger of unregulated intake.


These instances emphasize the significance of being cautious while using soy sauce.

Seasoning can quickly lead to excess, making it vital to maintain control over salt content.

Furthermore, it's imperative to refrain from consuming soy sauce directly, considering the serious consequences and the unappealing taste of consuming such substantial amounts.

Even though soy sauce continues to be a cherished culinary enhancer, it's crucial to approach it with both reverence and moderation.


Ultimately, relishing your preferred meals ought to bring joy and sustenance, rather than posing a potential threat.