Endogenous alcohol production by intestinal fermentation in sudden infant death

Z Rechtsmed. 1982;89(3):167-72. doi: 10.1007/BF01873798.


In some cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) the intestinal flora was found to be dominated by Candida albicans. Microbiologic investigations of the various organs showed the occasional presence of different Candida species, but not in the form of massive growth as in sepsis. There is no basis to assume that the activity of yeasts, first of all of Candida albicans, is a contributory factor in the occurrence of SIDS. Candida albicans was shown to produce alcohol from glucose at a rate of maximally 1 mg of alcohol per gram of intestinal content per hour. It is concluded that the intestinal production of alcohol in vivo from cases showing a Candida albicans dominated intestinal flora will not be able to surpass the normal alcohol metabolizing capacity of the liver. Thus, measurable concentrations of alcohol in the blood from such cases cannot be expected.

MeSH terms

  • Candida albicans / metabolism
  • Ethanol / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Male
  • Sudden Infant Death / metabolism*


  • Ethanol