Posted by Neharika Sabharwal on September 21, 2013

Believe it or not but a rare medical condition can cause some people to actually brew beer in their own belly!

A 61-year-old man unidentified Texan man has a history of unexplained intoxication.

Apparently he is afflicted with “Gut Fermentation Syndrome” also called “Auto-Brewery” and “Drunkenness Disease”, a rare disorder whereby patients become high without ingesting alcohol.

According to experts when he ate starches, he had a chemical reaction that turned his food into ethanol.

Barabara Cordell, the dean of nursing at Panola College in Carthage, Texas stated, "He would get drunk out of the blue - on a Sunday morning after being at church, or really, just anytime. His wife was so dismayed about it that she even bought a Breathalyzer."

Rare disorder: “Gut Fermentation Syndrome”
The incidents of inebriation increased in severity and frequency over time. The problem was detected only when he landed in the emergency room drunk, complaining of dizziness. His blood concentration tested five times over the legal limit (0.37%) on a day when he had not touched a drop of alcohol.

The physicians baffled that a person could be so smashed without taking a sip of beer, wine or spirits believed he must be a “closet drinker”. However, the man's condition continued to confound Cordell, who along with Lubbock-based gastroenterologist Dr. Justin McCarthy wanted to unearth this medical mystery.

After isolating him in a hospital room for 24 hours, he was fed a carb-enriched diet and the man’s blood alcohol content shot up to 0.12 percent.Turns out that excess yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae due to an infection caused his body to convert starch heavy foods into ethanol.

The man’s “auto-brewery syndrome” was treated by limiting his intake of carbohydrates in the diet and receiving a course of anti-fungals.

Dr. Joseph Heitman, a microbiologist at Duke University stated,"Researchers have shown unequivocally that Saccharomyces can grow in the intestinal tract, But it's still unclear whether it's associated with any disease.”

The doctors reported the unusual case in the International Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Category: 

27 March 2014

A Washington State University food scientist and colleagues at Texas A&M AgriLife Research claim in a study that peach extracts contain the mixture of phenolic compounds that can reduce a...