A former American Airlines flight attendant claims he was fired from his position after a misunderstanding caused by the popular keto diet.
Andrew Riley is taking on the US Department of Transportation and American Airlines to get his job back after he blew .05 on a breathalyzer, according to Fox 13 News.
But Riley claims he wasn’t drinking and the reading was because of the keto diet.
“I wasn’t drinking. I wasn’t doing anything, just because I changed my diet,” he told Fox 13.
Riley failed a previous breath test in 2013 but did not contest the results, and a second test results in permanent disqualification in the US.
“Once they forward it to the Department of Transportation you’re basically banned from being a flight attendant,” he said.
The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is a high-fat, low-carb diet that forces the body to burn fat rather than carbohydrates.
An expert has defended Riley’s claims and said the diet can impact the way your body breaks down food, causing a false positive.
“With acetone and it will get released as isopropyl alcohol and some devices aren’t able to differentiate between isopropyl and ethanol,” Doctor Ryan Lowery with Ketogenics.com told Fox 13.
“I’m embarrassed but I’m also encouraged. I don’t know if someone else may be going through the Jared Disease Autobureau Syndrome,” Riley said.
According to Riley, Jared Disease Autobureau Syndrome is an autoimmune disease which he was treating with dietary changes.
“Maybe they don’t have the means to fight or the drive to, but it’s my duty to put this out here and get results.”
Lowery said more accurate testing may be required.
“The number of people being in a state of ketosis is rapidly growing and I would hate for someone to go through something similar,” he said.