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... it was an American male who was repeatedly arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol even though he hadn't actually drank any booze. After this had happened many times, the local police figuring out that they had a dead-cert bust arrested him every time he was seen driving a car regardless of his driving behaviour, lab tests showed that his body was naturally producing alcohol, which was ending up in his bloodstream.
Endogenous ethanol (EE) production is a normal phenomenon, but except in rare cases the amounts are minute. Studies of healthy abstainers peg blood alcohol concentration (BAC) from EE at less - often much less - than .004 percent, which itself is only a 20th of the usual U.S. legal [driving] limit of .08 percent. Where does EE come from? While there's some evidence that small amounts are formed inside cells as metabolic intermediaries or products, mostly it's manufactured in the mobile fermentation vat known as your gut. Some of the tiny things that live in there, especially yeasts, are constantly munching ingested carbs and churning out booze. The body absorbs this normally modest volume of EE and it goes straight to the liver, where it's metabolized. Barring unusual circumstances, very little EE makes it to the rest of the body. To get a significant BAC from EE alone would require increased fermentation, diminished ability to metabolize alcohol, or (probably) both. In Japan since the 1950s there have been dozens of published case reports of people feeling drunk after eating carbs such as rice, a condition called meitei-sho or, in English, auto-brewery syndrome. You're thinking: great - free sake. Not quite. It comes with a price. In almost every case in one review, intestinal overgrowth of candida or other yeasts was identified as the cause. Most patients had undergone some sort of gastrointestinal surgery - such procedures sometimes result in increased fermentation thanks to blind loops left in the intestine, where microbes can eat and multiply undisturbed. In most cases not involving prior surgery, some other abnormality was noted, such as low stomach acidity. Auto-brewery syndrome has never been convincingly reported outside Japan. Why? It's all about enzymes. When the liver processes ethanol, the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase first converts it to acetaldehyde. In most people a second enzyme, aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), quickly converts the acetaldehyde to harmless acetate. But roughly 50 percent of Japanese and other east Asians and some American Indians (but practically no Europeans or Africans) have a mutated gene that impairs ALDH activity. In these people, even a modest dose of alcohol, imbibed or endogenous, leads to acetaldehyde buildup and unpleasant symptoms: facial flushing, palpitations, dizziness, nausea, headache, and confusion.
Nah - I don't think a fart would do it - as with the external factors, it would happen too often and a link would've been established.There's just not enough data to base a reasonable theory upon.