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What is ALDH2 Deficiency?
ALDH2 Deficiency is a genetic mutation that leads to an inability to properly break down a toxin called acetaldehyde, which increases the risk of long-term diseases.

ALDH2 Deficiency is caused by a genetic mutation

Who does ALDH2 Deficiency affect?

Over 1 billion people globally have ALDH2 Deficiency. While it affects up to 40% of all people of East Asian descent, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and more, other ethnicities can have ALDH2 Deficiency as well. In fact, people of all ethnicities can have ALDH2 Deficiency. You can find out for sure by taking an ALDH2 DNA test.

What is ALDH2 Deficiency?

To understand ALDH2 Deficiency, it is first important to understand what ALDH2 is and what it does. ALDH2 ( Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 2), is an enzyme found in the liver. It is responsible for the breakdown of a toxin called acetaldehyde. In addition to being a toxin, acetaldehyde is a carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer. Normally, the ALDH2 enzyme quickly and safely breaks down acetaldehyde.

ALDH2 Deficiency is a genetic disorder in which the ALDH2 enzyme doesn't work properly. This is caused by a mutation in the ALDH2 Enzyme. This mutation leaves the enzyme unable to properly break down acetaldehyde. A common misconception is that those with ALDH2 Deficiency don't have the ALDH2 enzyme at all. This is not the case, as the enzyme is present but has low activity.

Since acetaldehyde is regularly entering the body from numerous sources or being created inside the body, it is always present in low concentrations. In those with ALDH2 Deficiency, this is a problem because it can accumulate and cause damage. Acetaldehyde is a reactive compound, and can damage DNA and proteins in the body.

Long term acetaldehyde exposure can have serious health implications, including higher risk of diseases like gastrointestinal cancer and liver cirrhosis. This is why those with ALDH2 Deficiency are at significantly higher risk of these diseases than others.

Normal Liver and Liver with ALDH2 Deficiency 

How does ALDH2 Deficiency affect me?

ALDH2 Deficiency is a genetic disorder, and so it is passed down from parents to children. Since acetaldehyde is regularly entering the body from everyday sources or is being created inside the body, it is always present in low concentrations. In those with ALDH2 Deficiency, it can accumulate and cause damage and inflammation. Continuous acetaldehyde exposure can have serious long-term implications. 

The health risks associated with ALDH2 Deficiency are due to consistent long term exposure to higher than normal amounts of acetaldehyde. Please see the scientific references below for more information on these conditions.

  • Gastric and Esophageal Cancer: Acetaldehyde entering the throat and GI tract from foods, alcohol, and cigarette smoke causes damage to the esophagus and stomach. More information.
  • Liver Disease: Exposure to acetaldehyde over time causes scarring in the liver that leads to liver cirrhosis and liver disease. More information.
  • Alzheimer's Disease: There has been research indicating that the increased acetaldehyde entering the brain in those with ALDH2 Deficiency causes damage to brain cells. More information. 
  • Osteoporosis: Acetaldehyde can negatively impact bone development, and recent research shows those with ALDH2 Deficiency are at a significantly increased risk of losing bone density and developing Osteoporosis. More information.

For more information on ALDH2 Deficiency and Disease, please visit: Health Risks of ALDH2 Deficiency. 

The symptoms of ALDH2 Deficiency are largely unnoticeable as acetaldehyde can circulate in the blood at low to medium concentrations without causing any particular symptoms.  The most noticeable symptom of ALDH2 Deficiency is Alcohol Flush Reaction, a series of symptoms that occur when drinking alcohol, the most obvious of which is red flushing of the face and skin. Click here to learn more about Alcohol Flush Reaction.

To learn more about how acetaldehyde causes damage and where it comes from, visit 'What’s Acetaldehyde?'. For more information about the causes, effects, and long term health implications of ALDH2 Deficiency, please visit ALDH2Deficiency.com.

How does Essential AD2 help?

Essential AD2 is the only product clinically proven to reduce the buildup of acetaldehyde in those with ALDH2 Deficiency. By doing so, Essential AD2 reduces the symptoms of alcohol flush reaction, protects from the acetaldehyde toxin, and improves liver health and function.