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What Is Auto-Brewery Syndrome?

Auto-brewery syndrome, also referred to as gut fermentation syndrome, is a rare and little known condition in which a person can become drunk without the consumption of alcohol. It is thought to occur as a result of an excessive amount of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the yeast used to make beer, wine, and other alcohol, in the gastrointestinal tract. The yeast is then thought to ferment with consumed carbohydrates into alcohol in the blood rather than metabolizing it in the bloodstream for energy. In the reported cases, after the consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates, such as fruit, bread, and pasta, the person’s blood alcohol level will increase to the point of being legally drunk.

More about auto-brewery syndrome :

  • The first documented cases of auto-brewery syndrome were in Japan, which reported 12 instances of the condition by 1972.

  • Short bowel syndrome, a condition in which the body is unable to absorb nutrients due to malfunction of the bowel, is thought to be the culprit for cases of auto-brewery syndrome in children.

  • Auto-brewery syndrome has been attempted to be used as a defense for drunk driving, but the rareness of the condition has not made it successful.

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