Acetaldehyde is common, but poorly known substance that can be hazardous to health - particularly to the gastrointestinal tract. BIOHIT HealthCare has invested in years of research into this harmful substance in order to develop useful products for a global unmet need.
Key facts about Acetaldehyde:
Alongside asbestos and tobacco, acetaldehyde is a Group I human carcinogen.
Exposure to acetaldehyde occurs on a much larger scale than exposure to asbestos and smoking.
Acetaldehyde accumulates in the body and continuous exposure increases the risk of cancer to various organs.
On a global scale, exposure to acetaldehyde is linked to approximately 4 million new cancer cases annually, or nearly 40 per cent of all cancers.
Awareness of the dangers posed by acetaldehyde should have a major global effect on the food industry and people's behaviour. By influencing both of these, exposure to acetaldehyde can be notably decreased.
In October 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the international cancer research unit which forms part of the World Health Organization, classified acetaldehyde included in and generated endogenously from alcoholic beverages as a Group I human carcinogen.
Specific microbes (e.g. bacteria and yeasts) in the gastrointestinal tract are the most important source of acetaldehyde exposure to the human body. These microbes produce acetaldehyde from alcohol and, in certain circumstances, from sugar. Unlike the liver, the microbes and the intestinal mucosa cannot remove the acetaldehyde, and due to the effect of alcohol, an abundance of acetaldehyde accumulates in the saliva and elsewhere in the gastrointestinal tract.
Scientific evidence demonstrates that the health risks related to acetaldehyde are similar to those related to cholesterol, but, whereas the health risks related to cholesterol are well known, the awareness of acetaldehyde is significantly less.
Therefore, health education related to acetaldehyde should be increased. Abstention from smoking, moderate use of alcohol, good oral hygiene and avoiding foods and alcoholic beverages containing acetaldehyde are key factors in reducing the cancer risk caused by acetaldehyde. Such health education should be aimed at known risk groups, such as carriers of the gene mutation that increases acetaldehyde exposure and towards individuals suffering from an acid-free stomach.