What Is 'Auto-Brewery Syndrome'? The Intriguing Defense That Beat a Drunk-Driving Charge!

29 Apr 2024 • In a remarkable turn of events, a 40-year-old Belgian man has captured global attention by successfully overturning a drunk-driving charge based on evidence of an unusual medical condition known as Auto-brewery Syndrome (ABS). This condition, where the body ferments ingested carbohydrates into ethanol, mimicked the effects of alcohol intoxication, leading to his elevated blood alcohol levels.

  • Auto-brewery syndrome (ABS) (also known as gut fermentation syndrome, endogenous ethanol fermentation or drunkenness disease) is a condition characterized by the fermentation of ingested carbohydrates in the gastrointestinal tract of the body caused by bacteria or fungi.
  • The symptoms of ABS closely resemble those of alcohol intoxication, including elevated blood alcohol levels, slurred speech, confusion, and skin flushing.
  • Individuals with this condition may also experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, and diarrhoea.

A multifaceted approach to the treatment is essential, including dietary modifications, pharmacological interventions, and probiotics, to effectively manage ABS. A low-carbohydrate, sugar-restricted diet reduces the fermentable substrates in the gut that promote endogenous ethanol production. Many antifungal and antibacterial medications can effectively reduce yeast overgrowth and ethanol production.

Source: Newsweek | Read full story

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