Beer-Producing Gut Gets Man Drunk on Bread

By Breanna Draxler | September 19, 2013 11:54 am

man gets drunk off bread

Here’s a medical mystery for you. A man checks himself into an emergency room in Texas because he feels dizzy. Dizzy? Try drunk. His blood alcohol concentration is soaring at 0.37 percent. But here’s the sticking point: the man hasn’t had a single drink that day.

How the heck?

Theory one: the man was a closet alcoholic. Plausible, but not the case. Theory two: there was something more going on. To find out, doctors isolated the man in a hospital room for 24 hours. Without any alcohol, the medical team still saw his BAC spike after eating. Turns out the man had a thriving colony of brewer’s yeast in his gut. As reported by NPR,

“The patient had an infection with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, 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.”

The name the doctor assigned to the 61-year-old man’s condition: auto-brewery syndrome. Now that’s what we call a beer belly.

Image credit: ollyy/Shutterstock

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts
MORE ABOUT: beer, yeast
  • Chico

    Lol…..One way or another you need dough to get drunk

  • beurbs

    this is utterly amazing

  • Mike Haxton

    Not the first time I have heard of this. There was a Japanese in the 60s with the problem.



Briefing you on the must-know news and trending topics in science and technology today.

See More


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar