View Full Version : EtG testing, non-alcoholic beer and creatine levels
Apr 23, 2011, 01:27 AM
I have been court ordered to participate in random EtG alcohol testing. During the times in which I was drinking alcohol, my EtG levels were consistently >10,000. I did not realize that "NA" beer might register a positive result on these tests until it happened to me! I have not had an alcoholic beverage (not even a sip) since 2/28/2011. I do drink NA beer on occasion, and 5 of my 12 most recent Etg's (March 3-April 11) have been reported as positive. The EtG levels on 4 of them were 125-254 ng/mL, but one was 728 ng/mL. The tox lab is insisting that NA beer will never result in EtG levels over 500 ng/mL unless you drink "barrels full". Skinner website suggests I check out my creatine levels for this test as concentrated urine can increase EtG up to 15 times the actual level. Is this true? I am furiously attempting to gather documentation that points to NA beer consumption and EtG levels. I am sure that I didn't drink any real beer! Help!
Apr 23, 2011, 07:58 AM
Are you Male or Female? Also age. There are a few studies on non-alcoholic drinks. I will get you some references.
Urine tested positive for ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulphate after the consumption of “non-alcoholic” beer
Thierauf, A., etal (2010) (http://http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T6W-50237FC-2&_user=10&_coverDate=05/10/2010&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=ef622182a397eb76742383075d96e85b) investigated non-alcoholic beer and EtG and found it was not uncommon to test in the range of 3.0-8.7. One subject measured 14.1 mg/ml.
Hoiseth, G. (2010) (http://http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20223100) investigated non-alcoholic wine. EtG was negative but EtS was positive.
Frank Musshoff (2010) (http://http://www.askmehelpdesk.com/addictions/etg-testing-non-alcoholic-beer-creatine-levels-572185.html#post2780874) cites the phenomenon.
These articles are recent, relevant and appear in peer reviewed journals.
By "Skinner" I assume you are referring to Skipper? He introduced EtG to the US and is known as the leading expert in the field. His acknowledgement of concentrated urine increasing EtG levels is correct. See here (http://etg.weebly.com/)
Regardless of the claims of the testing lab there is no known method for assessing dose, amount or type alcohol consumed. That is a guess on their part.
Apr 26, 2011, 03:13 PM
Thank you for responding to my question Dr. Bill. The answer to you questions is that I am a 45 yr. old female. I was able to find out my urine creatinine level for the particular test in question - it was 190.5. Could this level have affected my EtG/EtS? I have a court hearing on May2 and am desperately seeking information in my defense of sobriety. How could I go about contacting an expert/toxicologist that would provide me with a written letter defending my claim? Thank you again.
Apr 26, 2011, 03:18 PM
Thank you for responding to my question Dr. Bill. The answer to you questions is that I am a 45 yr. old female. I was able to find out my urine creatinine level for the particular test in question - it was 190.5. Could this level have affected my EtG/EtS? I have a court hearing on May2 and am desperately seeking information in my defense of sobriety. How could I go about contacting an expert/toxicologist that would provide me with a written letter defending my claim? Thank you again. (sorry I posted in the "answer" area the first time is sent this!)
Apr 26, 2011, 03:20 PM
Please provide EtG and or EtS reading as it appears on the printout. Creatinine level definitely effects EtG. Additionally, provide the creatinine level as it is printed. On each of the foregoing include the quantity Ex. Ng/L etc.
Apr 26, 2011, 03:26 PM
EtG 753 ng/mL; EtS 255 ng/mL
Apr 26, 2011, 03:31 PM
Again please, how could I get a written letter from an "expert" or toxicologist supporting your information? Thank you!
Apr 26, 2011, 04:05 PM
In the study cited above Thierauf, etal "Urine tested positive for ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulphate after the consumption of “non-alcoholic” beer", the range for non-alcoholic beer was between 300-870 ng/ml. (EtG) One subject measured 14100 ng/ml the following day.
This study appeared in Forensic Science International Volume 202, Issues 1-3, 10 October 2010, Pages 82-85. Clearly the laboratory is misinformed. Not unusual.
The relatively low levels reported could be due to urine concentration, yeast infection, improper storage or shipment of the sample or contamination, something you ate, inhaled, or thousands of other causes.
I'm not an expert on the legal issues but I doubt that a court will accept a letter. They usually require expert testimony. If they will accept a letter it would seem likely they would be equally amenable to an article(s) published in recognized journals. Do you have an attorney involved?
Apr 26, 2011, 06:50 PM
I do an attorney. Her experience regarding testing is that the Court places weight on the ua information. She believes that what I say or she can argue as "lay" people would not carry significant weight with the Court. I disagree. Without having a lab that will sustantiate my claims re-test the specimen, I doubt that any or their toxicologists would prove a letter in my support. I will share this information with my legal counsel and go from there - I can't thank you enough for your help!
Apr 26, 2011, 08:43 PM
I am going on a vacation in a this weekend to celebrate my 5 year anniversary. I usually don't drink, but this is a celebration. I know I will receive an EtG test on the Tuesday I return home. If I allow 100 hours between the test and my last drink, will I pass? Have you heard of anyone, who isn't an alcoholic, failing an EtG after the 80 hours? I keep seeing up to 5 days which is 120 hours so I'm worried... (female,5'3,120lbs
Apr 26, 2011, 11:45 PM
If you have made it to a 5 year anniversary, I'd say life is good and why risk it. When I was drinking, I believed that I was meticulously calculating my celebrations with my testing days. Not so lucky. Although I got away with it for a minute, I eventually fell. I tested with levels >10,000 ng/mL after what I'd figured was 96 hours - I've read that tests can read levels up to 7 days after ingestion of alcohol. Just a suggestion - happy anniversary!
Apr 27, 2011, 12:10 AM
I'm by no means an expert on this subject, and I don't know if this would have any effect.
In Canada the NA beer still has alcohol in it. It's not a large amount. Where a regular beer has 5% or more, NA beer has 0.5% at the most. Still, you really can't call it Non alcoholic if there's alcohol in it.
Does your NA beer have absolutely no alcohol in it? If it does have the 0.5%, could that be enough to make the tests positive?
Apr 27, 2011, 08:08 AM
... I tested with levels >10,000 ng/mL after what I'd figured was 96 hours - I've read that tests can read levels up to 7 days after ingestion of alcohol. Just a suggestion - happy anniversary!
Based on this information it might be beneficial to obtain a liver function test. Several reasons. 1) the small amount of ethanol in NA beer usually clears within minutes and the EtG within several hours, 2) women metabolize slightly faster than men (9%), 3) EtG seldom remains past 72-77 hour range even following long term heavy consumption, and 4) chronic long term consumption usually results in accelerated metabolism, nearly twice normal range.
Add to this that females are more vulnerable to consequential liver damage and these indicators are worth a closer look.
Of course, as I have indicated, the erratic nature of EtG tests, the thousands of environmental sources that can influence the test, and the lack of working knowledge that pervades amongst those administering and interpreting the tests is always a solid first guess. Your drinking history, age and gender along with a seeming slow elimination rate should be checked and added to the list of possible explanations noted above.
Since the lab tests creatinine you should ask if they normalize creatinine. Your readings normalized to creatinine are EtG=395.28 and EtS=133.86. That brings EtG below the newly recommended cutoff of 500 ng. These are the latest Advisory issued by Skipper and Soc for Addiction Medicine. These were directed to all agencies using the test and should be important to your case. Go to http://etg.weebly.com/ and click on "Latest Advisory' highlighted in blue.
Apr 28, 2011, 03:27 AM
NA beer does have 0.5% like you stated - I'm sure that consumption can register a positive EtG level as it has now happened to me. Important to note is that ethyl alcohol found in incidental items (such as NA beer and wine, mouthwash, OTC medications, hand sanitizer, paint thinner, even some food products). Can be compounding. This means that your EtG level will increase with each use of any of these items.
Feb 12, 2012, 08:01 AM
Will taking creatine supplements affect the etg/ets test, when taking it honestly to enhance workouts?
Mar 9, 2012, 10:58 PM
What about drugs?
Mar 9, 2012, 11:00 PM
What about drugs?
Mar 11, 2012, 05:08 PM
What about drugs?
What about them? Do you have a question? If so you need to start your own thread. Or are you answering the question the poster posted? If so, could you clarify your answer?