Articles, Blog

How to Get Drunk on Bread

August 15, 2019


It almost sounds like a Sherlock Holmes case: A 61-year-old man staggers into a Texas emergency
room feeling light-headed, nauseous, and dizzy. The nurses think he looks kinda hammered,
so they give him a Breathalyzer test, and sure enough, his blood alcohol concentration
clocks in at a very drunk .37 percent. But thing is, the guy claims he hasn’t had
a single drink today. In fact, he says he’s been experiencing
sudden and unexplained bouts of drunkenness for years. So what’s up? Is the guy a closet drinker?
Is he suffering some kind of amnesia, or sleep-boozing, or what? The doctors decide to check the man’s pockets
for hidden booze, then monitor him in an isolated hospital room for 24 hours. They have him
eat a lot of carb-heavy foods while staff take various readings and watch what happens
to his blood alcohol content. What they eventually find, is that the guy
has an over-abundance of brewer’s yeast in his digestive system, and it’s basically
turning his guts into a fermentation vat, converting carbohydrate sugars into ethanol,
and getting him sloshed. As you’ve probably guessed by now, this
story actually happened, back in 2010. And in the end, the man’s doctors diagnosed
him with auto-brewery, or gut fermentation syndrome. Basically, his digestive system
was turning carbohydrates into alcohol. Cue the beer belly jokes.… Here’s what his doctors figured was happening: When most people eat yeasty foods, the yeast
passes right on through their body. But sometimes it’s possible for that yeast to stick around
in larger numbers. The Texan man’s troubles seem to have started
after he completed a hardcore round of antibiotics that wiped out his good gut bacteria, eliminating
the competition and allowing yeasts and other fungi to take over. So whenever he’d eat carbohydrates, the extra
yeast in his digestive system would start fermenting those carbs into alcohol, which
would end up in his bloodstream. He was literally getting drunk on bread. The doctors treated the man by having him
take antifungal drugs and probiotics to restore his good bacteria. They also had him eat a
low-carb diet help to keep the yeast in check. Now, this wasn’t the first-ever case of auto-brewery
syndrome. Some children with short bowel syndrome — an
intestinal condition that makes proper nutrient absorption difficult — have also shown signs
of extra yeast causing intoxication. And researchers in Japan have documented similar
reports of serious digestive yeast infections and spontaneous tipsiness, dating back to
the 1970s. Even so, this syndrome is both rare and controversial,
because all we have is this handful of mysterious case studies. It’s just hard to figure out what’s actually
causing the problem without more research — like a controlled clinical trial. Plus, when it comes to getting drunk without
drinking, an over-abundance of yeast may not be the only factor involved. There’s also a problem with certain enzymes. Normally, alcohol gets broken down by particular
liver enzymes. But in some people, genetic mutations mean
they don’t produce those enzymes properly. So they can end up feeling drunk after drinking
a relatively small amount of alcohol. This mutation affects a disproportionate number
of Asian people — about one in three, which could help explain why Japan has the highest
number of reported gut fermentation syndrome cases. Combine extra yeast with a rice-heavy diet
and abnormal enzymes and you might find yourself getting accidentally sauced as those carbohydrates
turn to ethanol that doesn’t get processed quickly enough. It’s pretty easy to test for these enzyme
deficiencies, but so far there’s no definitive test for auto-brewery syndrome in people with
the usual enzymes. Since it’s so difficult to clearly diagnose,
it would be hard for researchers to set up studies and trials. So, until there’s a better way to diagnose
it, auto-brewery syndrome is a condition that will probably continue to be rare and mysterious. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow,
which was brought to you by our patrons on Patreon. If you want to help support this
show, just go to patreon.com/scishow. And don’t forget to go to youtube.com/scishow
and subscribe!

100 Comments

  • Reply Green Sleeves April 14, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Lucky bastard, loaf of bread instead of a case or bottle.

  • Reply Kevin April 14, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    rice-heavy diet ?? are eating the same thing everyday makes it a diet food ?

  • Reply Jedwig Lamb April 14, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    I thought is was Kvas….

  • Reply bish April 16, 2016 at 12:46 am

    police: have you been drinking? me: no I've been eating

  • Reply Trabucox April 16, 2016 at 1:36 am

    so many people are going to start saying they have it

  • Reply Chung David April 16, 2016 at 5:34 am

    tell that to muslims

  • Reply Craig B April 22, 2016 at 4:56 am

    Wow, uber cool episode and I've seen so many I barely say that anymore.

  • Reply Siskin's Bits and Bobs April 22, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Meh. I thought it said – get drunk in bed…..

  • Reply atwgirl13 Briony&TobyMusic April 23, 2016 at 10:29 am

    What if they were pulled over by the cops!???? They would laugh if he said he hadnt had anything to drink. Only had bread.

  • Reply King April 24, 2016 at 9:59 am

    i want to get sloshed

  • Reply MooseGoose April 24, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Here's a definitive test. Just keep the patient eating carbs and no alcohol in a controlled environment for 3 days. If they still have a high BAC, they are clearly making alcohol in their gut, as the alcohol isnt simply coming from nowhere

  • Reply Brandon Shepherd April 25, 2016 at 1:13 am

    So did that guy have to detox from the ethanol? Technically he would have been an alcoholic.. Right?

  • Reply Weltschmerz von Gavagai April 26, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    is he Bender?

  • Reply MrGoatflakes April 26, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Yeah this is why blood alcohol limits of 0.00% are bullshit.

  • Reply MrGoatflakes April 26, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Also this sounds horrible. Imagine getting blind drunk, at random, with not much control over it. /barf

  • Reply Roset828 April 29, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Instructions were unclear, got my stomach caught in a loaf of bread

  • Reply Asura Saitoh April 29, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    lol like sheeps if you feed them fruits X3

  • Reply Kim Rogers May 1, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    can plants get drunk?

  • Reply Josh B May 2, 2016 at 2:47 am

    How many synonymous for drunk were said in this video…

  • Reply 01bletsch May 2, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Eh…absolute minimum time for fermentation of alcohol is 7 days. This is total bullshit.

  • Reply DMT Infinity May 3, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Bruh, I Love your channel. o-o

  • Reply Hannah Carlson May 6, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Lol this kind of thing seems like it would happen to me because I just always seem drunk lmfao

  • Reply Puzolics May 16, 2016 at 2:18 am

    so, i can get hammerd from eating pizza? OH YEAH!!! BEST THING EVER!

  • Reply TheSpaceGamers May 16, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    I was going to make a science joke, but all the good ones argon.

  • Reply Stu VS May 17, 2016 at 12:27 am

    And then the yeast grow through the intestinal wall, causing Leaky Bowel Syndrome, where toxins the body was working to eliminate go right back into the bloodstream. Man, can you get sick from that. Also get yeast blooms under the skin, along blood veins. Pro-biotics are the cure.

  • Reply Jason Brunet May 19, 2016 at 5:10 am

    If I eat Brewer's Yeast, will bread get me drunk? If you explain this in the video and I missed it I apologize. I'm very drunk right now.

  • Reply austin kha May 19, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Is this why I always feel sick after one beer?

  • Reply ReliveTheDream May 22, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Imagine the alcoholics who would dream for this

  • Reply Jeremy Meehan May 23, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    I'm surprised the doctors actually took him seriously.

  • Reply Reed Swift May 24, 2016 at 12:12 am

    in a anime this can be useful

  • Reply Jonathan Rowe May 29, 2016 at 4:10 am

    I was so excited to try this but no no :'[

  • Reply Jacob Duncan June 2, 2016 at 10:02 am

    So, basically some people are getting the superpower of secreting their own moonshine?

  • Reply El Bubsio June 4, 2016 at 2:15 am

    All of this is really interesting, but it's hard to keep up when he explains things so quickly. Especially when you're already drunk :o)

  • Reply Tera Shewchenko June 5, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    well that's new. it's crazy what can go on in our bodies!

  • Reply Festering Shark June 6, 2016 at 5:45 am

    I might have this, I'm 15 and I can be as high as a kite when I haven't had any drugs in a while or alcohol (btw, medicine sort of drugs) this has made me, alot of the time, have symptoms of being drunk, one of the most seen ones is dilated pupils, which has led to accusations of being on drugs, another symptom is my behavior in general, but that doesn't have to mean someone is drunk, just helps people think I'm on drugs

  • Reply awesomestpower June 12, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Ewww, he made beer in his gut!

  • Reply Harshit ZZZ June 15, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    One word : Disappointed

  • Reply P K June 21, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    When posted a meme about this condition on some facebook group of my university they've asked how can you catch it XD

  • Reply Naomi Williams June 28, 2016 at 2:41 am

    LITERAL GOALS

  • Reply Goretantath June 30, 2016 at 5:56 am

    markiplier has that liver enzyme deficiency thingy!

  • Reply boyceps July 2, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Wow! And all this time, I thought that I was just a lightweight! ;))

  • Reply Spartan2818 July 4, 2016 at 7:11 am

    I just finished my penicillin a week ago damnit why couldn't I find this then

  • Reply NationalVideoWatcher July 21, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    If someone has auto-brewery syndrome and they are under the age of alcohol consumption, are they still allowed to eat bread?

    Or what about if we just had alcohol injected, that bypasses the whole consumption thing altogether, yeah? ouO

  • Reply TheGamingAlphas July 22, 2016 at 4:34 am

    Why does this guy wear a jacket in vids?

  • Reply ZorroDood July 22, 2016 at 10:12 am

    The dream.

  • Reply Emphazed July 23, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Is it freezing in the studio..?

  • Reply t-bird shane July 28, 2016 at 8:03 am

    this needs to be remade. its not just one guy in 1920. there is a lot . fact search please and make new video

  • Reply Lucy August 7, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Time to eat a loaf of bread

  • Reply John Smith August 15, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    But you CAN detect it via stool sample. If your stool shows very high levels of brewer's yeast, then you have the syndrome.

  • Reply truepurpl e August 17, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Rare, rare mysterious and undiagnosable? Only the rare bit fits with that description. They did diagnose it and he describes the cause with certain specifics.

  • Reply Mark Sidyakin August 30, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Damn I fought that he will actually tell how to get drunk on bread

  • Reply Jimmy Thornseed September 22, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I heard about this a while ago and proceeded to go into the kitchen and eat a whole scoop of brewer's yeast.

    Didn't work. Tasted like ancient bread, and stuck to the roof of the mouth 10X worse than peanut butter.

    But hey, I had fun ^.^

  • Reply Tomas Gregertsson October 2, 2016 at 1:28 am

    I'm not driving drunk officer, I have only had some sandwiches 😂.
    It shure would suck to get a dui for eating bread…

  • Reply Keegan Vader October 11, 2016 at 1:39 am

    I feel like i have this

  • Reply XerDav October 12, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    so maybe that's how some Japanese seem to get drunk off of a small bottle of Saki, lol… i barely get a buzz from Saki, it's like a rice wine compared to harder liquors ;p

  • Reply sin un nombre November 27, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    very bad. instructions not clear. got dick stuck in deep fryer

  • Reply EvieCore February 5, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Why would he want to stop this

  • Reply Casey Frey February 12, 2017 at 4:42 am

    My daughter has a genetic condition called Propionic Acidemia, which has to do with improper protein absorption if not kept on a strict diet and properly maintained. We take her to a major hospital every month to have blood work done, they say it's to check her ketone levels and so forth. I guess what I'm trying to ask is whether signs of this would show up on a regular blood test, or would you have to specifically check for this condition?

  • Reply Calvin Schmucker March 8, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Wat if he would've got stop and be considered driving under the influence of achocol?

  • Reply Lil Spazm March 12, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    How do I get this syndrome?

  • Reply Alex DemiHuman March 22, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    I don't understand, this video makes it look like a bad thing.

  • Reply TWrecks April 9, 2017 at 1:49 am

    Oh nice so i can turn my stomach into a brewery thanks

  • Reply TWrecks April 9, 2017 at 1:50 am

    Put him on a keto diet

  • Reply TehEpic fail April 22, 2017 at 2:05 am

    probably doesn't help that Japanese people don't go light on the booze and add alcohol to a lot of foods , they even have sake kitkats.

  • Reply Wildgraywolf1 May 19, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Wow, could somebody could end up pissing ethenol?

  • Reply bears 25 July 3, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    the problem is caused by killing the gut flora in your septic tank it isn't rare and mysterious at all

  • Reply J. P. August 6, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Seems lit

  • Reply Blue Bell August 7, 2017 at 3:20 am

    "I don't want you getting drunk while I'm away, so I got you all these antibiotics and bread."

  • Reply Constant Chaos September 9, 2017 at 8:49 am

    i am now going to intentionally try to get this

  • Reply oaphle September 16, 2017 at 12:19 am

    Wouldn't that be cool to have that

  • Reply owen c. September 20, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    hope the guy is doing better now! this is incredibly fascinating, though. our guts are a strange place…

  • Reply Jason R October 2, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I am a brewer and I love this syndrome!

  • Reply Jimmy Hamek October 4, 2017 at 7:16 am

    What about gastric acids ? I think 1.5-3.5 ph level with HCl is enough to kick off yeast, it's a weak kinda fungus. Also brewing process itself takes time, days or even weeks. How can it brew carbs up to such a level at just couple of hours ?

  • Reply Siraceman 13420/9 October 9, 2017 at 6:00 am

    I can’t drink yet but I want to get hammered.

  • Reply Grayson Cogswell October 20, 2017 at 3:54 am

    Sounds like Bender.

  • Reply Samuel J. Rivard October 21, 2017 at 5:59 am

    With that condition i would be curious what a pot muffin would do lol

  • Reply Edward Bernays November 12, 2017 at 7:47 am

    I wish

  • Reply Derek November 13, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    I'd consider this sindrome to be a gift.

  • Reply Ted Cameron November 17, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    And all the unlucky people who don't have that have to pay through then nose for the same effect lol

  • Reply stephen madl November 27, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    This happened to me a couple years ago. I made some wine and had recently taken antibiotics for a gun infection. Aparently I didn't filter it very well and ended up with a bunch of yeast in my gut so for several weeks I was a bit tipsy and burped constantly which smelled like cheap stale beer. It was gross smelling and the poor people around me could smell it. After several weeks it cleared up.

  • Reply Mike Roberti December 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    If you’re Irish, does your gut make Guinness?

  • Reply booger king December 12, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Heh! That's a drunkard's dream! Imagine filling your hunger and getting drunk at the same time! No need to buy beer!

  • Reply A Tr December 13, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    This video used a lot of ways to say drunk.

  • Reply Scott Copeman December 17, 2017 at 12:49 am

    I have known of cases of "HYypo-Glosimia" causing similar effects. I noticed that a lot of My asian-Friend's(sory! it''s-Me+Gram.) have often voiced genuine concern over 'Alcohol levels' that those of alcohol 'Use" in 'Thier' Culture, e.g.European vs. 'MOST' aboriginal "Peoples" across the World. Often used to exploit 'Them'!

  • Reply Kå Järp December 21, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    I could live happily with that syndrome

  • Reply Charles Lease January 11, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Yet another case of overpresribed and overusing antibiotics, and another case that strong, multi-strain probiotics can cure with high doses.

  • Reply inue windwalker January 25, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    …. I wonder if this was left unchecked would this develop into another kind of human…

  • Reply Matt Iles February 17, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    How to get drunk on bread: soak bread in alcohol and eat bread

  • Reply Utkarsh Aryan February 23, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    8:00 PM — I should go to sleep early tonight.

    3:30 AM — HOW TO GET DRUNK ON BREAD

  • Reply dmcepeda May 11, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    Spaghetti for me tonight!

  • Reply Mike L. Wallace Jr. May 26, 2018 at 11:04 am

    So is this video telling me to eat a brewers yeast sandwich?

  • Reply Wusbe - June 15, 2018 at 12:55 am

    doesn't tell you have to actually get drunk on bread

  • Reply Besser Wisser July 3, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    I think you got confused about Asians getting drunk more easily they(most) actually matabolise ethanol(the chemical that is intoxicating) better than normal(because of an over effcient enzyme) this results in acetaldehyde buildup (matabolite of ethanol) this chemical cause an imune response, redness in face omong other things. Others have an inefficient enzyme that metabolise acetaldehyde and that results in a acetaldehyde buildup.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_flush_reaction
    Alcohol flush reaction – Wikipedia
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_flush_reaction
    Alcohol flush reaction – Wikipedia

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G6717bNakuA
    🎥 Asian flush, explained – YouTube

  • Reply Larry Courtney September 2, 2018 at 2:22 am

    Hey honey I'll be right back I'm going to go buy a 12 pack of bread

  • Reply TrophPlayz November 4, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    CB Carbs Anonymous

  • Reply Noriel Sylvire November 12, 2018 at 5:43 am

    You dip the bread in vodka.

  • Reply Noriel Sylvire November 12, 2018 at 5:45 am

    When you love alcohol so much you make it yourself

  • Reply Lex Nuss December 23, 2018 at 3:27 am

    How does this syndrome affect a PBT or police Patrol Blood Tester (which they often choose to manipulate anyway ha,ha,ha!).?

  • Reply tino ortiga May 12, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    I volunteer for clinical studies!

  • Reply Anonymous Hatchet July 14, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Think I'm gonna eat some bread yeast and eat some fruit.

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