Snips about SNPs: Alcohol Flush

Does your face flush after a drink or two? The ALDH gene is responsible for the enzyme that breaks down acetaldehyde, which is a toxin that your body produces from alcohol.

While most people can get rid of acetaldehyde fairly quickly, for some, a genetic variant in the ALDH gene causes it to build up. This can cause your face to flush — known as an alcohol flush reaction. It also can make you feel bad when drinking…

Check your genetic data for rs671 (23andMe v4, v5; AncestryDNA):

  • A/A: Alcohol flush reaction[ref], also, higher risk of lung cancer from smoking[ref]
  • A/G: Alcohol flush reaction
  • G/G: normal acetaldehyde metabolism

Want more details? Check out the full article on your alcohol drinking gene.

*SNP stands for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, which is when one of the nucleotide bases (the A, C, G, or Ts) is replaced by a different nucleotide base in a gene.  Want to know more about your genes? Read through all the Snips about SNPs

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