Chinese man dies after drinking 1.5 litres of soda

Picture courtesy of Jamal Yahyayev from

A 22 year old Chinese man died after consuming 1.5 litres of carbonated soda, sparking a medical debate about the cause of his death. British experts suggest it is unlikely that the soda alone led to his demise.

A medical journal, Clinical and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology, detailed a rare case where a young Chinese man consumed 1.5 litres of soda within ten minutes to quench his thirst due to the hot weather. Six hours later, he experienced severe abdominal pain and bloating, prompting him to seek medical assistance at a hospital.

Initial examinations revealed he had a rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, and difficulty breathing. An X-ray showed that because he drank the soda too quickly, gas accumulated in his intestines and leaked into the portal vein, one of the liver’s main blood vessels, causing severe damage.

The man subsequently developed hepatic ischemia, a condition known as acute liver failure, due to a lack of oxygen to the organs. Medical staff attempted to release the gas from his digestive system and administered medication to control liver and other organ damage.

Despite their efforts, his condition continued to deteriorate, and he died 18 hours after receiving medical treatment.

However, the Daily Mail reported on this case, citing comments from a biochemist at University College London, Nathan Davies, who suggested that it is improbable that the man’s death was solely due to excessive soda consumption. Davies pointed out that the likelihood of dying from consuming 1.5 litres of a typical beverage, or just over three pints, is very low.

“It is possible that the young man died from an infection?”

Global consumption

Davies further explained that bacteria might have formed gas-filled cysts in the intestinal wall, which then leaked to other parts of the body. Consuming a large amount of carbonated beverages could have worsened the condition but was not the primary cause of death.

“Drinking large amounts of soda is certainly not good for dental health, which is the most significant issue. Excessive soda consumption impacts bone mineralization, but when compared to sugar intake, daily soda drinking has minimal health effects.”

He noted that given the global consumption of carbonated beverages, if they posed a life-threatening risk, there would be more similar cases reported.

The tragic incident has stirred discussions in the medical community, with some questioning whether other underlying health conditions might have contributed to the young man’s death.

While the Chinese medical team attributed the death to the rapid intake of soda, causing gas buildup and subsequent liver failure, British experts like Davies lean towards the possibility of a coinciding infection exacerbating the situation, reported Sanook.


China News

Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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