Published May 21, 2010
An 88-year-old Chinese woman, who was eating large amounts of bok choy in hopes of controlling her diabetes, ended up in a coma after ‘overdosing’ on the vegetable, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The woman, who was not identified in the report, was brought by her family to an emergency room at a hospital in New York City last summer. She was unable to swallow or walk for three days.
When doctors examined her, they discovered she had a severe case of hypothyroidism, which left her in a thyroid-induced coma. A breathing tube was inserted and she was taken to the intensive care unit where she eventually recovered.
Because the woman was eating so much bok choy—between 2 to 3 pounds on a daily basis—doctors believe an enzyme in the vegetable hindered the thyroid’s ability to function properly.
“This case demonstrates the potential for nutritional factors to have a profound effect on health,” it was stated in the report.