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Get drunk without drinking: Your guts might be making beer right now

We wish making beer straight from our guts was a sign of evolution and that we are all turning into super beings who produce what we consume — but no, auto-brewery syndrome (or gut fermentation syndrome) is really a health ailment. Barabara Cordell, the dean of nursing at Carthage’s Panola College, and Lubbock-based gastroenterologist Justin McCarthy, recently investigated the case of a man who was tested at a hospital in Texas and found to have an alcohol level almost five times the legal limit for driving there despite not having drunk that day.

They found that the brewer’s yeast infection he had meant the yeast would ferment the sugars from anything starchy he ate — even soda — and brew beer straight in his guts. ‘He would get drunk out of the blue — on a Sunday morning after being at church, or really, just anytime,” said Cordell. The findings were published in the International Journal of Clinical Medicine. It’s amazing what the human body is capable of.

About the author

Low Lai Chow travels light and is working on exercising demons from her past. Find out more about her at lowlaichow.com.

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