Navigation Links
Acetaldehyde in alcohol -- no longer just the chemical that causes a hangover

New evidence by researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and researchers in Germany shows that drinking alcohol is the greatest risk factor for acetaldehyde-related cancer. Heavy drinkers may be at increased risk due to exposure from multiple sources.

Acetaldehyde is ubiquitous in daily life in Ontario. Widely present in the environment, it is inhaled from the air and tobacco smoke, ingested from alcohol and foods, and produced in the human body during the metabolism of alcoholic beverages. Research indicates that this organic chemical plays a significant role in the development of certain types of cancers (especially of the upper digestive tract), and it is currently classified as possibly carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization. New research from CAMH in Toronto and the Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Laboratory Karlsruhe (CVUA) in Germany recently provided the necessary methodology for calculating the risk for the ingestion of alcoholic beverages.

The team found that risk from ingesting acetaldehyde via alcoholic beverages alone may exceed usual safety limits for heavy drinkers. Their risk assessment study found that the average exposure to acetaldehyde from alcoholic beverages resulted in a life-time cancer risk of 7.6/10,000, with higher risk scenarios (e.g. contaminations in unrecorded alcohol) in the range of 1 in 1,000. As such, the life-time cancer risks for acetaldehyde from ingestion of alcoholic beverages greatly exceed the usual limits for cancer risks from the environment.

The research team noted, however, that this risk is compounded by the addition of acetaldehyde exposure from different sources. "The problem with acetaldehyde has been that although it has been recognized as toxic by Health Canada some years ago, most risk assessments to date were based on one source of exposure only" explained Dr. Jrgen Rehm, the lead scientist of the Toronto group and head of the Public Health and Regulatory Policies section at CAMH. "This has led to a negligence of the overall risk."

For example, in Toronto, even though there are limits for air exposure of acetaldehyde set by the responsible Public Health agency, these limits have been surpassed in the past. Alone, the risks associated with surpassing limits of acetaldehyde from the air may not yet be alarming, but for heavy drinkers and smokers, it adds to the acetaldehyde levels already received from these sources. This overall risk then surpasses established safety limits.

"Their risk assessment of acetaldehyde present as a congener in alcoholic beverages touches the tip of the iceberg," according to a Commentary on the CAMH/CVUA study in the journal Addiction.

Based on their study the scientists of CAMH recommend:

  • That the classification of acetaldehyde with respect to cancer be re-examined, incorporating new evidence which points to an additional cancer risk to humans.
  • That a further risk assessment should take into consideration all sources of exposure from this substance.
  • That the risk for cancer stemming from acetaldehyde from alcoholic beverages is recognized, and necessary preventive steps are taken to reduce the acetaldehyde content in alcoholic beverages.
  • That the overall level of acetaldehyde exposure be minimized to the lowest level technically possible.


Contact: Michael Torres
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Related medicine news :

1. The Recovery Place Helps Hundreds of Patients Through Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation
2. Affordable Drug and Alcohol Rehab Ranch Residence is Saving Lives in Washington
3. Shootings Linked to Alcohol-to-Go Outlets, Study Finds
4. The Rev. Joseph C. Martin, Leading Authority on Alcoholism and Addiction Treatment, Dies at 84
5. Media Images of Alcohol Can Drive You to Drink
6. Alcohol consumption may increase pancreatic cancer risk
7. Owning alcohol-branded merchandise associated with teen drinking behaviors
8. Is telmisartan effective in treating non-alcoholic steatohepatitis?
9. Alcohol-Branded Apparel Linked to Adolescent Drinking
10. Alcohol types and socioeconomic status are associated with Barretts esophagus risk
11. Million women study shows even moderate alcohol consumption associated with increased cancer risk
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... influential people in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural ... views from around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of ... Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of ... taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... products to meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From ... probiotic experts and tested to meet the highest standard. , These products ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, ... a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, ... hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health ... Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent professional organization that shares best practices ... , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI will help support CPEN members by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... Oct. 11, 2017  Caris Life Sciences ® , ... the promise of precision medicine, today announced that St. ... Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its 17 th ... St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will help develop standards ... of tumor profiling, making cancer treatment more precise and ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... --  Provista, a proven leader in the supply ... power, today announced a new resource area on ... is the online home for case studies, articles on ... releases, slideshows and events. ... at their fingertips, viewers can also watch short videos ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, ... 8th Day Software and Consulting, LLC , and named ... 8th Day Software, based in Tennessee , ... 8th Day expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health care ... "In an interoperable ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: