Medical Definition of alcohol dehydrogenase
: any of various dehydrogenases that catalyze the reversible oxidation of an alcohol to an aldehyde or ketone ◆In humans, alcohol dehydrogenase is found especially in the liver and mucous-membrane lining of the stomach as a zinc-containing enzyme composed of two identical subunits that catalyzes the oxidation of an alcohol (such as ethanol) to an aldehyde (such as acetaldehyde) in the presence of NAD. <Normally, alcohol is broken down by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which in turn produces acetaldehyde, a toxic compound that can cause high blood pressure, skin flushing, and vomiting.—Meredith F. Small, Discover, July 2002>—abbreviation ADH
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