Beer saves man with alcohol poisoning

A man at risk of death by alcohol poisoning on Christmas Day has been saved by beer.

Nguyen Van Nhat, 48, lay dying in a hospital in Quang Tri, Vietnam, local media reported, with a blood methanol level 1119 times higher than normal.

Doctors, realising his body was trying to process too much alcohol at once, realised they could slow it down by giving him beer, newspaper Tuoi Tre reported.

They administered three cans immediately, and 12 more over the next 12 hours, saving his life.

It worked because the body prioritises breaking down ethanol - the kind of alcohol found in beer - over methanol. Methanol, typically found in industrial products like paint thinner and antifreeze, produces far deadlier toxins when it's processed than ethanol does.

Even if it doesn't kill you, methanol poisoning can cause permanent blindness.

The beer gave doctors time to perform a dialysis, removing the excess methanol.

The patient reportedly regained consciousness. 

It's not clear what he had been drinking beforehand.


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