People with genetic variants in the alcohol metabolism pathway either generate acetaldehyde too quickly, or are unable to eliminate it fast enough. This results in a dangerous build up of toxic acetaldehyde in the body, even when moderate amounts of alcohol are consumed.
The Genovate DNA Alcohol Intolerance Test identifies variants in these genes:
- ADH1B and ADH1C – converts ethanol to acetaldehyde (first step of alcohol metabolism). Variants increase ADH enzyme activity leading to the build up of acetaldehyde.
- ALDH2 – converts acetaldehyde to acetate (second step of alcohol metabolism). A common variant decreases ALDH enzyme activity, slowing the removal of toxic acetaldehyde.