Monday, March 19, 2007

Driving Under the Influence

Now here's a story for you. The most recent issue of the International Journal of Obesity reports the case of a 59-year-old teetotaler who set off the breathalyzer alarm bells when he attempted to drive a car fitted with an alcohol-detection device. The problem?

He was on a ketogenic diet, and if you've ever done Atkins or other very low-carb diet, you know all about ketosis and keto-breath. Apparently, when your body goes into ketone mode, you release a form of acetone when you exhale. In some people, it can be significant enough to register a "false-positive" on a breath test.

"This 'side effect' of ketogenic diets needs further discussion by authorities when people engaged in safety-sensitive work (e.g. bus drivers and airline pilots) submit to random breath-alcohol tests," the authors conclude.

Pretty funny, eh?

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