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Man Has Rare Condition That Means He Gets Drunk On Food

A Texan man has a rare condition that means he can get drunk by gorging on food – no alcohol needed.

A 61-year-old Texan man who came stumbling into a hospital emergency room completely wasted assured everyone he hadn’t had a drop of alcohol — and it turns out he was telling the truth.

When nurses ran a breathalyser test, the patient had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.37% – almost five times the legal limit for driving in Texas — and he was accused of being a closet drunk. Eventually they agreed to keep him in hospital and monitor him for 24 hours. During the isolation, the man ate carbohydrate-rich foods only and ended up with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.12%; his body was in fact producing the booze due to a build-up of Saccharomyces cerevisiae — a common yeast — in his gut. When he ate or drank starch-heavy foods, the yeast in his belly fermented the sugars into ethanol and he’d get completely smashed.

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Hard to decide whether this is a really awesome or really terrible problem to have. On one hand you can’t have a meal without ending up shit-faced, and that would probably harm your work life/family/friends. On the other hand you can’t have a meal without ending up shit-faced, and that sounds completely amazing — you can be drunk all the time and no one can even blame you for it. Not your fault you’re smashed off your nut at 1pm —  you’ve just had Subway for lunch. You’re not drunk, just full.

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