The human body makes alcohol. There is a rarer but real condition whereby the human body makes A LOT of alcohol: https://apple.news/ATX-6M1A8THKUgVfeTg0Mdg
The extreme version of this is called auto-brewery syndrome or ABS. An accumulation of yeast present in a person’s gut ferments a significant amount of the ingested carbohydrates into ethanol. “Pshaw,” you may be inclined to react. However, blood alcohol levels from this can cross the toxic threshold and other fungal overgrowth in the American population is a genuine reality. The CDC has collected data on candidemia (blood infection of Candida) at 1 out of 10,000: https://www.cdc.gov/…/…/candidiasis/invasive/statistics.html.
That’s not super common. But keep in mind that incidence number is only of the most extreme overgrowth - it isn’t the statistics on those at risk or those who are accumulating Candida.
While we always tend to focus on the obvious detrimental effects of extreme conditions, we likewise tend to gloss over the implications of lesser conditions. To be clear, the same system that leads to these rare cases is present within YOU.
Yeast, specifically saccharomyces cerevisiae, is everywhere. Exposure is a given. “How much is in you?” is the question, not whether you’ve been exposed. You’ve been exposed. It’s present.
Don’t let the rarity of cases with extreme saccharomyces cerevisiae proliferation confuse you. When researchers have actually tested hospitalized individuals who may be at risk, more than 1 out of 10 have this yeast on skin, in airways, and in tissue samples: https://pbsociety.org.pl/…/article/viewFile/am.2006.017/2386.
It doesn’t take much to get there, by the way. A single round of antibiotics WILL shift you to a lesser degree of bacteria versus yeast in the body. Eating patterns and stress reinforce this imbalance.
“So what?”, you may be thinking. Well, even a tiny amount of fermentation BUT CONSTANT will he producing a nonstop flow of ethanol. Though you may not feel “drunk” in the classical sense, you are inhibiting metabolism like crazy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22524/. That is, there is a long gradient of exposure before full blown auto-brewery syndrome. And on the way you’ll find energy sucks, fat loss impossible, “inexplicable” aches and pains, and a variety of other idiopathic symptoms for which the average medical clinician is totally unprepared. It doesn’t take much ethanol or aggregation of sugars to block the liver from healthy hepatic function.
The fact of this has led some of my dietitian, functional med doc, and physiatrist peers to troubleshoot with or recommend anti-fungal medications. Others utilize more “out there” supplements. I don’t disregard any of these. But in the end, we’ll still be faced with the cold reality that most people have to stop it with the incessant eating, incessant carbs, incessant weight gain, incessant inflammation, incessant low or inactivity.
All that said, I realize that most people who need to hear this are partially drunk, and therefore defiant, belligerent, excessively emotional, and incapable of thinking clearly. And as long as the lifestyle remains, they’ll remain in this state with no momentary percolations of sobriety. But for those who capture a lucky sober second, perhaps reconsider your lifestyle which is persistently putting you at risk for microbiome imbalance, yeast overgrowth, and constant metabolic discord.
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