photo courtesy of Photokanok at

photo courtesy of Photokanok at

“As you introduce probiotic bacteria in a digestive system, they start destroying pathogenic bacteria, viruses and fungi. When these pathogens die they release toxins,” says Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, neurologist, neurosurgeon and author of GAPS. (page 251).

McBride goes on to say,”These are the toxins which made your patient autistic or schizophrenic or hyperactive.” (page 251).

Her studies of autism, ADHD, schizophrenia, dyslexia, dyspraxia and other psychological problems led her to ethanol and acetaldehyde gasses within the body.

Overgrowth of pathogenic flora, specifically yeasts in the Candida albicans family, create a revolving door within the tract. 

She says, “In healthy people dietary glucose gets converted into lactic acid, water and energy through a biochemical process called glycolysis. In people with yeast overgrowth Candida highjacks the glucose and digests it in a different way, called alcoholic fermentation. In this biochemical process Candida and other yeasts convert dietary glucose into alcohol (ethanol) and its by-product acetaldehyde.” (page 50-51).

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Pub Chem, an Open Chemistry Database with the National Library of Medicine, says, “Ethanol is a clear, colorless liquid rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed throughout the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant. It is widely used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations.” 

ID-10066076They go on to say ethanol vapors are heavier than air. They also say ethanol has a burning taste when in the mouth. Ethanol, and the by-products of ethanol, are very small molecularly allowing them to readily cross barriers within the body. 

McBride says, “They get absorbed into the blood very quickly and have a very good ability to get through the placenta to a developing foetus. Overgrowing yeast in a pregnant woman would produce alcohol and its by-products, affecting the child’s development.” (page 51).

Some say this is one of the reasons certain women feel so good while pregnant, there’s a continual stream of alcohol in their blood.

“There is no part of the body that will not suffer from the constant supply of alcohol even in tiny amounts,” McBride says (Page 51). She goes on to say it directly effects reduction of stomach acid, reduction of pancreatic enzymes impairing digestion, damage to the microbiome, nutritional deficiencies (specifically vitamins A and B), decreased immune function, liver damage, brain damage, peripheral nerve damage resulting in muscle weakness and direct muscle tissue damage.

ID-100251784Ethanol is directly linked to fatty liver disease. The Cleveland Clinic says, “Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease. It is strongly associated with obesity and insulin resistance and is currently considered by many as the hepatic component of the metabolic syndrome.”

One study of test rats showed when they were fed a liquid ethanol diet their glutathione levels plummeted.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported the study substituted ethanol for sucrose. They said, “The liquid ethanol diet contained 30% ethanol-derived calories. Mice were fed the indicated diets for 11–14 days and euthanized, and spleens or lymph nodes were removed aseptically for use in culture. Mice show markedly diminished delayed hypersensitivity (DTH, a Th1-associated response) and enhanced humoral immune (Th2-associated) responses. Similarly, ethanol feeding decreases OVA-specific DTH in unimmunized αβ T cell receptor transgenic (DO11.10) mice.”

This creates a spiraling down effect in which the study concluded, “Our findings suggest that alteration in immune function because of GSH (glutathione) depletion in APC (antigen-presenting cell) populations may play a key role in exacerbating HIV and other infectious diseases in which Th2 predominance is an important aspect of the disease pathology.”

When fed ethanol the gut flora is directly impacted, creating a deeper imbalance in the good/bad strains.

Another test study on mice fed 5% alcohol showed this decline. The journal PLOS One reported the study saying, “Chronic ethanol feeding caused a decline in the abundance of both Bacteriodetes and Firmicutes phyla, with a proportional increase in the gram negative Proteobacteria and gram positive Actinobacteria phyla; the bacterial genera that showed the biggest expansion were the gram negative alkaline tolerant Alcaligenes and gram positive Corynebacterium.”

An imbalance of bacteriodetes and firmicutes phyla is associated with obesity. 

They go on to say, “Tight junction (TJ) proteins play a critical role in maintaining the gut barrier integrity and can be affected by ethanol exposure leading to gut barrier dysfunction and an increase in intestinal permeability. Chronic ethanol exposure disrupts TJ proteins.”

Ethanol off-gassing is often found in people who respond in a drunk manner after a high carbohydrate meal. “Carbohydrates are consumed by Candida with the production of alcohol. Despite the fact that these people did not consume alcohol, they developed some typical symptoms of alcoholism,” McBride says.

Her protocol emphasises drowning out the pathogenic bacteria with beneficial bacteria while reducing inflammatory food intake. Probiotics are the best way to drown out the pathogens. Too much probiotic causes too much to die, releasing their toxic gases all at once, causing the flood of ethanol. 

Taking probiotics properly is vital to recovery for this reason.

For a list of the top rated probiotics, that do not contain ingredients which feed the pathogens that cause the problem, click here

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.



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