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Endogenous ethanol production in a patient with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

Centre for Chronic Intestinal Failure, Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Impact Factor: 2.15). 08/2006; 18(7):799-802. DOI: 10.1097/01.meg.0000223906.55245.61
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The case of the gastrointestinal production of ethanol from Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a Caucasian man with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction is reported. The patient, who declared to have always abstained from alcohol, was hospitalized for abdominal pain, belching and mental confusion. The laboratory findings showed the presence of ethanol in the blood. Gastric juice and faecal microbiological cultures were positive for C. albicans and S. cerevisiae. At home, he was on oral antibiotic therapy with amoxicillin plus clavulanic acid for a small bowel bacterial overgrowth, associated with a simple sugar-rich diet. Twenty-four hours after stopping both the antibiotic therapy and the simple sugar-rich diet, the blood ethanol disappeared. A provocative test, performed by giving amoxicillin plus clavulanic acid associated with the simple sugar-rich diet was followed by the reappearance of ethanol in the blood. A review of the literature is reported.

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    • "As a result, metabolites with unclear origins can be classified in an intermediate group. For example, endogenous ethanol is not a metabolite of human metabolism, but a byproduct of gut microbes [97, 98], which is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease [99]. In all, biotransformation (metabolism) and transportation are essential to the metabolic network of host and microbial interactions to dispose of endogenous and exogenous metabolites. "
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