Intake of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) fermented milk before drinking alcohol reduces acetaldehyde levels and duration of flushing in drinkers with wild-type and heterozygous mutant ALDH2: a randomized, blinded crossover controlled trial†
Alcohol consumption leads to acetaldehyde accumulation, especially in people with mutant aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 gene (ALDH2). Novel strategies to promote acetaldehyde detoxification are required to prevent alcohol-related toxicity. Probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) were shown to have in vitro capacity to detoxify acetaldehyde. This randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over trial investigated the effect of LGG fermented milk in people with ALDH2 polymorphisms after moderate alcohol intake. Ten healthy wild-type and ten heterozygous mutant ALDH2 Thai men were block randomized into two groups. Each group consumed a different sequence of 150 mL fermented milk containing 108 CFU mL−1 LGG and lactic-acidified milk (placebo), followed by five glasses of beer (0.4 g ethanol per kg body weight), with a one-week wash-out. Consuming LGG fermented milk before alcohol reduced areas under the response curves of blood and salivary acetaldehyde in wild-type and heterozygous mutant ALDH2 individuals (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively). Interestingly, participants with mutant ALDH2 responded better than wild-type participants for salivary acetaldehyde (90% vs. 70%, p < 0.001). Their durations of flushing were reduced when consuming LGG milk. Regardless of ALDH2 status, 105 CFU mL−1 LGG was retained in saliva at least 3.5 h after milk consumption. In conclusion, intake of LGG fermented milk before drinking alcohol reduces blood and salivary acetaldehyde levels and duration of flushing in drinkers with wild-type and heterozygous mutant ALDH2. The addition of exogenous capacity to detoxify acetaldehyde using the probiotic product could be a potential strategy to promote the alleviation of exposure to reactive and carcinogenic acetaldehyde associated with alcohol drinking in individuals with defective ALDH2 enzyme.