Relationship between ALDH2 genotypes and choice of alcoholic beverages

T. Ishibashi, S. Harada, C. Fujii, A. Taguchi, T. Ishii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


There are obviously individual differences in the choice for many kinds of alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, whisky, sake, cocktail and so on. It is generally believed that these differences are related to acquired preferences in taste and smell, in addition to life style. However, the basis of these acquired preference is not yet understood. It has been shown that around half of Japanese show a marked sensitivity to alcoholic beverages because of aversive reactions due to a catalytic deficiency in ALDH2 isozyme. Therefore, differences in ALDH2 genotypes may possibly influence the choice of alcoholic beverages because the individuals possessing the ALDH2* 2 gene may prefer the alcoholic beverages containing lower concentrations of alcohol. A large population survey (320 males, 132 females) was conducted using questionnaires to investigate the relationship between ALDH2 genotypes and the choice of alcoholic beverages. Individuals with the homozygote of ALDH2* 1 generally showed more preference for alcoholic beverages containing a higher concentration of alcohol than those with the heterozygote or the homozygote of ALDH2* 2. It was noted that the latter groups preferred whisky and water, and sweet cocktails. Also, the choices for beer, whisky, and sake were significantly different between both genders. Our data suggested that individuals with ALDH2* 2 prefer beverages with lower concentrations of alcohol due to an aversive reaction after drinking, and that there are obvious gender differences in the consumption as well as the choice for many alcoholic beverages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-129
Number of pages13
JournalJapanese Journal of Alcohol Studies and Drug Dependence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • ALDH2 genotypes
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Choice of alcoholic beverages
  • Gender differences
  • Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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