Few of us realize that alcohol is actually produced within our bodies, independent of any drinking â€” a phenomenon scientists refer to as the autobrewery syndrome. (See my earlier post Immaculate Intoxication.) The usual cause is fermentation created by the presence of yeast and glucose in the system.
Internally-produced alcohol can be caused by other things as well. If an individual was taking antacids such as Tums or Rolaids, for example, he may have created a situation in which his body was manufacturing alcohol internally. Scientific literature indicates that antacids change the gastric acidity in the stomach â€” which can lead to alcohol production by resident bacteriaâ€¦. and elevated blood-alcohol readings on a breathalyzer. See â€œEffects of Cimetidine Treatments on Ethanol Formation in the Human Stomachâ€, 19(6) Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 853 (1984); and â€œEffects of Antacids on Alcoholâ€™s Reactionâ€, 5(5) Alcoholism 28 (1985).