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Beer Belly: Sober Man Tested for Drunk Driving Finds His Body Makes its Own Alcohol

Auto-brewery system is a rare condition in which fungus in one's digestive system converts carbohydrates to alcohol.


Updated:October 25, 2019, 3:23 PM IST
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Beer Belly: Sober Man Tested for Drunk Driving Finds His Body Makes its Own Alcohol
Image credit: Reuters (Representational)

After being pulled over for drunk driving, a sober man in North Carolina, US, discovered that his stomach had the ability to "brew" beer.

The man, 46, was pulled over by cops over suspicions of driving drunk. When the man who claimed to be sober refused a breathalyzer test, he was taken to a hospital where tests revealed his blood alcohol level to be 0.2, over twice the permissible limit for driver sin US, the Washington Post reported.

However, further investigation revealed that the man was indeed sober. The alcohol content in his blood was caused by fungi in his digestive system that were turning carbohydrates into ethanol, the active ingredient in alcohol. The condition is called "Auto-brewery system" and it is so rare that only five people have been known to be diagnosed with it the past 30 years.

As per a report in The Sun, the man had been seeing a doctor for some years following frequent spells of fogginess, depression and aggressive behaviour as well as memory loss.

A similar case surfaced in 2016 when a woman in New York was tested with four times the allowed level of alcohol in her blood. Before that, a truck driver who had spilled 11,000 salmon while transporting them had claimed he was drunk driving but rather suffering from the unusual condition.

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