This Man’s Stomach Brewed Its Own Alcohol

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

For this episode of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen take a look at some of the current news items and weigh in from a brain health perspective. This week’s pieces range from the surprising, such as how Omega 3 can help children with mood disorders, to the bizarre, like the man who was arrested for drunk driving with a high BAC level, even though he never took a sip of alcohol.

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Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
Dr Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics. Where we have been transforming lives for 30 years. Using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way podcast is also brought to you by Brain MD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals, to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to
Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome back. This is our weekly Brain in the News. There are so many articles about Brain in the News. But if you learn one thing posted on any of your social media sites, hashtag Brain Warrior's Way podcast. Leave us a comment, question or review, add and we'll enter you into a raffle to win one of Tana's cookbooks. So what do you have?
Tana Amen: So apparently more Americans are going to be going gluten free whether they like it or not. Because U.S. winter wheat acres are set to drop to the lowest in 110 years. Apparently we-
Dr Daniel Amen: So the farm land dedicated to wheat-
Tana Amen: Yes, is dropping.
Dr Daniel Amen: To the lowest level since 1910?
Tana Amen: Yes, because there's so much competition, and the prices are so low that the farmers can't really afford to grow it. And so they're switching to corn and a lot of them are switching to cotton, sorghum, all sorts of things, but not wheat. And so it's very interesting. But when they switch to corn or soy, which is commonly what's they're saying is going to happen, that's not necessarily super healthy either. So just be aware of that. Because a lot of it is still, it's not organic, it's genetically modified. It's sprayed with pesticides. So you still need to be aware. Just because you're going gluten free does not necessarily mean you're going healthy. So gluten free and health-
Dr Daniel Amen: That's so important. And I talked to the author of a Wheat Belly. And he said gluten free foods are often just as toxic or worse because they're made with high-glycemic starches and so on. All right, so I read this article just blew my mind. I actually didn't know. The title is, No One Believed Him When He Said He Hadn't Been Drinking. Then researchers found his body was producing alcohol.
Tana Amen: That's crazy.
Dr Daniel Amen: When a man in North Carolina was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, police didn't believe him when he said he hadn't had any alcohol. The man in his late 40's at the time refused to take a breathalyzer test and was taken to a hospital, where his initial blood alcohol level was found to be about two and a half times the legal limit. And the equivalent of consuming 10 drinks an hour, despite the man swearing up and down that he hadn't had anything to drink.
Doctors didn't believe him either, but researchers at Richmond university medical center in New York eventually discovered that the man was telling the truth. He wasn't Downing beers or cocktails. Instead, there was yeast in his gut that was likely converting carbohydrates in the food he ate to alcohol. In other words, his body was brewing beer.
The findings were reported in his study in the British medical journal, Open Gastroenterology. The man whose identity has not been revealed had a rarely diagnosed medical condition called auto brewery syndrome. ABS; also known as gut fermentation syndrome, which occurs when yeast in the GI tract causes the body to convert carbohydrates ingested through food. So if he has this, a low carb diet would help him into alcohol.
Tana Amen: Well, in fact, when we talk about people having yeast, people talk about having yeast in their gut and we treat it a lot. And interestingly, in the past that's always... Many doctors considered it to be nonsense. So obviously it's not nonsense, but what you do is you do put them on a low carb type of diet. It's a very specific type of diet you put them on. And one of the things you do, you cut out all sugars completely, because you don't want to feed the yeast.
Dr Daniel Amen: Researchers treated him with antifungal medications. And Dr. Fahad Malik said, these patients have the exact same implications of alcoholism. The smell, the breath, drowsiness and gate changes. Three years later after his suspected drunk driving arrest, the man's aunt bought a breathalyzer to record his alcohol levels. She had heard about a similar case that had been successfully treated by a doctor. Isn't this so interesting?
Tana Amen: This is wild.
Dr Daniel Amen: And the article just goes on and on. But I think if you Google auto brewery syndrome, you can learn more about it. It's the hidden reasons why that people suffer.
Tana Amen: You know, we're learning so much. We used to think that this yeast issue in the gut, a lot of doctors didn't really buy into it. They didn't buy into fibromyalgia, they didn't buy Lyme, they didn't buy so many things. And as we progress with science, we realize not buying into it was really just because they didn't know enough about it.
Dr Daniel Amen: Sure you want to do this one?
Tana Amen: Police picked up a seven year old boy who was caught at school, vaping CBD oil in Wisconsin. This is crazy. And obviously this kid has seen an adult or someone else doing this. A social worker with Child Protective Services, picked up the boy from school and took him to a local hospital for examination. Doctors said he was okay. Authorities then return the child to his mother.
Apparently they did not file charges, but school officials said they threw the vaping device in the trash. And the concern is that kids are seeing parents do this at home. They're concerned about the safety. We've been hearing about all these people going into the hospital dying because of doing this, vaping. I think most of them had THC in them. But you don't know if kids are going to pick those up out of their parents' purses or wherever.
Dr Daniel Amen: That's nearly 50 cases, 50 deaths.
Tana Amen: Right. And so the safety-
Dr Daniel Amen: And cases reported in every state in the United States.
Tana Amen: The safety and integrity of students and families is paramount. So obviously this is a national vaping epidemic. It's a concern around the country or the world. But when parents do this and they jeopardize their own health, that's bad enough. When you jeopardize your child's health or another child's health at school, who made then use your vape pen, that's criminal. It's just wrong. So you need to be more careful.
Dr Daniel Amen: So how old were you when you tried your first cigarette?
Tana Amen: Oh, I was forced to smoke a cigarette by a babysitter when I was four. That's in my new book. So there's a reason I never allowed my daughter-
Dr Daniel Amen: You just got triggered.
Tana Amen: Oh yes. There's a reason there. Why do you think my daughter never had a babysitter? That was just one of the stories. So yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: So you were four years old.
Tana Amen: It was four years old.
Dr Daniel Amen: And a lot of it is because of a lack of supervision. I think that children-
Tana Amen: Mine wasn't a lack of supervision, it was just a horrific, horrible person, a terrible human being.
Dr Daniel Amen: Either a lack of supervision or a terrible-
Tana Amen: Or a terrible human being.
Dr Daniel Amen: -role model. I think I was about 11 and just choked my head off.
Tana Amen: Well, I was four, so obviously I choked. She told me that she would tell my mom I did some other terrible thing that I didn't do, but I was so scared, that I-
Dr Daniel Amen: So she was an abuser. That's what abusers do. But you know, let's not forget children have developing brains, that vaping is not good for your adult brain, whether it's vaping, caffeine, nicotine, CBD, whatever. And I want you to think. Your lung tissue is the most sensitive tissue in your body. It is one cell layer thin. And it's critical you being able to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide; a process that's just absolutely essential to every cell in your body living. And so by heating up these pans and inhaling really hot, toxic, often air then they're damaging their lungs.
Tana Amen: But there's also something else going on. Because I think by the time they inhaled that the air is not actually that hot. So there's something else going on with this chemical exchange. It's making it even more toxic than some of the other ways of smoking. So I'm not even, I don't know... Do you know that they know exactly what's causing it? I know it's mostly the THC pens that were doing it.
Dr Daniel Amen: They actually think it's a synthetic form of vitamin A, that is causing people to have a negative reaction to it; like an allergic reaction that's causing it. One more study. Omega-3 supplementation for children was associated with parent rated improvements in executive function. So they did this study on 95 kids with depression or bipolar disorder and they gave them two capsules of fish oil, about two grams total, mostly EPA. And the conclusions of the study that it improved executive function when they improved the Omega three fatty acids. So things like forethought, judgment, impulse control. This was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. And I love that because that's a mainstream journal that's talking about using nutraceuticals to optimize physical cognitive functioning.
Tana Amen: Do you remember Abigail at our house the other night? This is so cute. I've never seen a baby this young taking fish oil. So one of our doctors that works for us who we just love, he's one of our just amazing physicians. They came to our house. He has a four month old baby that is just as cute as can be, and one of the mellowest babies I've ever seen. Wide awake, totally alert, mellow, doesn't cry. I'm like, something's up with that baby. She's just so well behaved for a four year old; is not fussy at all. But they give this baby, they're already giving her fish oil. They've been giving it to her since she was just tiny, just, well, she's still tiny but. But I was so amazed. They're already giving her fish oil and it's just so interesting and probiotics. And so you can start really young starting to optimize the health of that baby's brain. I thought that was so interesting.
Dr Daniel Amen: Wow. Brain in the News. You know, we'd love for you to send us links to articles that you come across. You can post them at We'd love for you to leave us a comment, question, or review. And if there's one thing you learned, and I think the thing for me this week is the auto brewery syndrome. Be careful about feeding the yeast in your gut with sugar, that we would love for you to post it on any of your social media sites and hashtag Brain Warrior's Way podcast. Stay with us.
Tana Amen: Thank you. If you're enjoying the Brain Warrior's Way podcast, please don't forget to subscribe, so you'll always know when there's a new episode. And while you're at it, feel free to give us a review or five star rating, as that helps others find the podcast.
Dr Daniel Amen: If you're considering coming to Amen Clinics, or trying some of the brain-healthy supplements from Brain MD, you can use the code podcast 10, to get a 10% discount on a full evaluation at or a 10% discount on all supplements at For more information, give us a call at (855) 978-1363.