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Gut fermentation can lead to inebriation by carbs. No, really!

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It's called gut fermentation syndrome or auto-brewery syndrome, and it's "a relatively unknown phenomenon in Western medicine" according to a study published in July's International Journal of Clinical Medicine. "Only a few cases have been reported in the last three decades" according to Dr. Barbara Cordell, the dean of nursing at Panola College in Carthage, Texas, and Dr. Justin McCarthy, a Lubbock gastroenterologist, the study's authors.

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  1. Something that happens about once a decade hardly merits mention, much less concern.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pikawicca

      Rarely considered or diagnosed does not equal rare occurrence.

      It's just possible, though, that you've missed the humor of the situation, crankypants. :-)

    2. It would be terribly wrong if police could administer both a breathalyzer and a fartalyzer.

      1. LOL, I just had to laugh....especially because I had a large box of sushi and maki rolls, one onigiri, one red bean mochi and then a bag of shrimp chips yesterday for lunch.

        1. All I can think of about this is that where did all the CO2 from fermentation go? He must have been a traveling gas machine with a belly swollen to the size of a VW Bug. Just putt, putt, putting along....

          1 Reply
          1. re: JMF

            Cows can't drive, but their methane could probably power a small automobile. Gas for thought.

          2. This was a topic on NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me". One of the wits quipped that the patient whose gut makes its own beer is now known as "Texas Jesus". ;-)

            1 Reply
            1. i eat so many carbs that it is totally unfair that i don't have that disease.
              it would save me money on booze.

              1 Reply
              1. re: westsidegal

                Imagine if your waiter cut you off after your third baked potato....

              2. I just read a post from a lawyer who successfully defended someone for DUI caused by gut fermentation. A gastroenterologist testified on the man's behalf. :-)

                1 Reply
                1. re: mcf

                  Amazing. I wonder who he had in his pocket

                2. I guess the syndrome is news to some people, but it has long been publicly noted in the US. Michael A. Weiner's 1977 book "The Taster's Guide to Beer," something of a classic of its era which I still encounter on shelves, opens with an example of such a case.

                  (Which by-the-way is an example, albeit a silly and trivial one, of the limitations of that popular genre of topic threads on this and other food sites where people discuss the merits of the latest books on food and cooking. While thoroughly ignoring the far larger and more useful body of existing books, long available, on the same subjects -- which, in more cases than many people seem to realize, not only covered the same ground earlier, but even brought out points that newer titles don't.)

                  1. Everyone misses the point here. Was it a good brew or not?

                    Is it worth getting inoculated?