News from Texas, however, threatens to paint us all as mere pikers.
A 61-year-old man — with a history of home-brewing — stumbled into a Texas emergency room complaining of dizziness. Nurses ran a Breathalyzer test. And sure enough, the man's blood alcohol concentration was a whopping 0.37 percent, or almost five times the legal limit for driving in Texas.His wife, friends, and doctors were puzzled. The obvious answer: he'd been sneaking drinks, like most mornings for Teejay at the Cracker Factory. But as a pair of clinicians dug into the issue, they found something astounding:
There was just one hitch: The man said that he hadn't touched a drop of alcohol that day.
So the team searched the man's belongings for liquor and then isolated him in a hospital room for 24 hours. Throughout the day, he ate carbohydrate-rich foods, and the doctors periodically checked his blood for alcohol. At one point, it rose 0.12 percent.It goes without saying that this paints home-brewing in an entirely different light. And offers more than a few of us an expansive new canvas upon which to express our excuse-making talent.
Eventually, McCarthy and Cordell pinpointed the culprit: an overabundance of brewer's yeast in his gut.
That's right, folks. According to Cordell and McCarthy, the man's intestinal tract was acting like his own internal brewery.
The patient had an infection with , Cordell says. So when he ate or drank a bunch of starch — a bagel, pasta or even a soda — the yeast fermented the sugars into ethanol, and he would get drunk. Essentially, he was brewing beer in his own gut. Cordell and McCarthy the case of "auto-brewery syndrome" a few months ago in the International Journal of Clinical Medicine.