Thursday, October 26, 2006

Can ketosis cause false positives on DUI breathalizers?

I ran across a blog entry claiming that a low-carb diet can cause false positives on breathalizer tests. They include links to a couple of sites making similar claims.

http://livinlavidalocarb.blogspot.com/search?q=DUI&x=51&y=3

This gist is that when the body produces ketosis as it burns stored body fat for energy, consumption of carbohydrates during ketosis can cause the body itself to produce a substance called isopropyl alcohol. Most DUI breath testing machines cannot distinguish isopropyl alcohol from ethanol (the alcohol that we drink and that causes impairment).

Has anyone heard this before? Is it for real or just an urban legend?


Follow-up March 23, 2007:

Here's addiitonal information from the International Journal on Obesity...

http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v31/n3/abs/0803444a.html


Follow-up May 24, 2007:

Here's addiitonal information from the blog of Dr. Michael Eades, co-author of Protein Power...

http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/?p=713

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes -- The isopropanol is produced by oxidation of acetone by alcohol dehydrogenase. There's a case of a Swede who never drank alcohol testing positive because of his low carb. diet. However, noone has done controlled research. Who would fund it, lest their name be smeared.