Your Body Can Be A Secret Booze Factory

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your body can be a secret booze factory

A 40-year-old resident of Bruges, who claimed to police that his body produces its own alcohol due to a medical condition, has been acquitted of drunk-driving charges despite multiple incidents of being caught driving under the influence.

The 40-year-old individual was arrested twice in April and May 2022 after colliding with lamp posts. He registered alcohol levels of 2.09 and 1.63 milligrams respectively significantly exceeding the Belgian legal limit.

Additionally, he had a prior conviction for driving under the influence in 2019. Despite the evidence, he maintained his innocence, attributing his high alcohol levels to a medical condition, reports the Brussels Times .

Anse Ghesquiere, his legal representative, said that her client works at a brewery, but three doctors have independently examined him and confirmed he suffers from Acquired Auto-Brewery Syndrome(ABS), reports CNN .

Carbohydrates converted into alcohol

According to local media, during one study, he was fed sugary food for 24 hours and without drinking alcohol, his body massively converted the carbohydrates into alcohol.

A third doctor appointed by the police court in Bruges also came to the same conclusion.

Belgian media reported that in the verdict, the judge emphasised that the defendant, who was not named in line with local judicial custom, did not experience symptoms of intoxication.

They also reported that the judge did not order a driving ban based on his condition.

Instead, the judge ruled that the man must take measures, such as dietary changes or an alcolock that prevents him from driving over the limit - or face a conviction if he fails a future breath test.

What is ABS?

Lisa Florin, a clinical biologist at the Belgian hospital AZ Sint-Lucas, clarified that individuals with the condition produce the same alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, but they typically experience fewer effects.

She further explained that ABS is not congenital but can develop in individuals who already have another intestinal disorder. The condition is rare but is thought to be underreported.

The trigger for ABS can vary, from prolonged antibiotic use to diets high in carbohydrates, according to scientists.

The condition is also known as drunkenness disease. Sufferers produce large amounts of ethanol in their gut through the fermentation of ingested carbohydrates in the gastrointestinal tract of the body, reports Sky News .

Scientists say the condition is caused by specific bacteria or fungi in the gut. Once produced, the alcohol is then absorbed in the small intestine, causing an increase in blood alcohol concentrations that produce the effects of intoxication.

The condition can have a profound impact on sufferers, who can exhibit symptoms such as slurred speech, stumbling, loss of motor functions, dizziness, and belching, as well as mood swings and neurological issues.