Auto-brewery syndrome: A medical mixed blessing if I ever heard of one

A gentleman in Texas briefly became an involuntary drunk (at one point ending up in the hospital with a blood alcohol concentration of .37, despite not having imbibed all day) when a colony of brewer's yeast took up residence in his gut and started converting every starchy food he ate into booze.

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  1. You probably need to consume a lot of the active yeast and have a particularly weak stomach acid for this. There's likely more to it than that, but I can dream, can't I?

  2. This is clearly the first step towards Culture-style drug glands, and we should hail this fellow as a saint.

  3. The story deserves more skepticism, what with being (a) published in a bottom-feeding non-peer-review vanity-press journal, and (b) written by an aromatherapist.

  4. Imagine yeast with a mutation that makes them competitive against our normal gut flora. We could end up with a drunken plague.

  5. To amplify my earlier Bah-humbuggery:

    1. The "International Journal of Clinical Medicine" is a SCIRP journal, this being a publishing house where the editorial overview consists of cashing the authors' cheques; known for previously accepting 'papers' generated by random-number software. In this case, editorial overview certainly did not include "proof-reading" -- the first typo is in the list of keywords.

    2. The first author -- the one pimping out the story with press releases to Fox News, Huffington Post and similar reputable media -- is an aromatherapeutic quack. The second author is lying low and saying nothing.

    3. According to a quick education from the University of Google, the possibility of "auto-fermentation syndrome" as an excuse for drunk driving was most recently laughed out of the house in a 2000 review.

    MKB was pwned.

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