A recent meta-analysis of data from East Asian genome-wide association studies revealed aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) rs671 as a susceptibility variable for type 2 diabetes in men. To look at the relationship between ALDH2 rs671 and metabolic parameters. Researchers investigated 94 Japanese males who were not fat or diabetic. They measured insulin sensitivity in muscle and liver using a two-step hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging were used to assess intrahepatic lipid and fat distribution, respectively. They separated the individuals into two groups: those with ALDH2 rs671 G/G and those with ALDH2 rs671 G/A or A/A. The risk group consumed considerably more alcohol, had higher fasting plasma glucose (FPG), had poorer hepatic insulin sensitivity, and had lower fasting glucose clearance than the non risk group, although insulin resistance in muscle and body fat distribution were comparable. Alcohol intake was shown to be related to hepatic insulin sensitivity and fasting glucose clearance in a single linear correlation study. Multiple regression analysis indicated that the ALDH2 rs671 G/G genotype and alcohol intake were both substantial independent correlates of hepatic insulin sensitivity, while only alcohol consumption was an independent predictor of fasting glucose clearance.

The findings imply that high-alcohol-intake–dependent and independent hepatic insulin resistance, as well as decreased fasting glucose clearance, may represent a relatively upstream metabolic aberration in ALDH2 rs671 G/G carriers.