Gut shots

Non-alcoholic beverages are for those who don’t drink or are intolerant to alcohol. It may also be ideal for drinkers who easily get drunk to avoid getting into trouble. One example is John R. Tyson, the chief financial officer of a United States-based meat processing company Tyson’s Foods.

On 6 November, Tyson was arrested for allegedly entering an unknown woman’s house drunk, and falling asleep on her bed, according to reports. The woman in Fayetteville, Arkansas called the police on finding him on her bed and he was later charged with public intoxication and criminal trespass, NDTV reported.

Tyson had apologized over the incident and his company said in a statement that he is getting counseling for his drinking, according to NDTV.

In Japan, there is a big market for low- and non-alcoholic drinks with fewer younger Japanese drinking alcohol than in previous decades.

“Just 7.8 percent of Japanese people in their 20s were regular drinkers in 2019 compared with 20.3 percent of that age group in 1999, Reuters reported, citing government surveys.

The reality has given rise to a no-alcohol beer garden and a bar offering mocktails and non-alcohol wine to customers in Tokyo’s entertainment district of Roppongi and finance hub in Shibuya.

Non-intoxicating drinks, however, won’t work with the likes of 64-year-old Nick Carson of Lowestoft, Suffolk, in the United Kingdom.

Two to three times a week, the father-of-two would start slurring his words, become progressively less steady on his feet, walk around in circles and eventually pass out. Carson’s apparent drunkenness happen despite not consuming any alcoholic drink, BBC reported.

“Six to eight hours later I would wake up like there is nothing wrong with me, very rarely feeling hungover,” he told BBC.

Carson gets drunk “after eating meals that were high in carbohydrates, such as potatoes” because of his rare condition called Auto-Brewery Syndrome.

Also known as gut fermentation syndrome, ABS raises the levels of alcohol in the blood and produces the symptoms of alcohol intoxication in patients with minimal or no alcohol intake because certain gut microbes, like the yeast Candida albicans, overgrow and ferment a high-carbohydrate meal into alcohol, according to BBC.

While drinking moderately helps ordinary drinkers to stay sober, Carson had to avoid getting drunk by following a nutritionist-guided diet or using antifungal treatments to prevent the yeast used in winemaking and brewing that he hosts in his gut from getting out of control.


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