Frequently asked questions on the Acetium capsule

How does Acetium work?

The L-cysteine contained in Acetium binds acetaldehyde to form the harmless compound methyl thiazolidine carboxylic acid (MTCA). At the same time, it reduces free acetaldehyde in the stomach below harmful concentrations.

How effective is Acetium?

According to a clinical trial, it decreases the concentration of acetaldehyde in gastric acid by 63% on average, which is sufficient to reduce concentration below the risk limit.

How quick is the effect?

The capsule begins to effect immediately.

How will I know if I need Acetium?

If you are under proton-pump inhibitor medication or suffer from a Helicobacter pylori infection or atrophic gastritis, you should use Acetium. If you suffer from stomach ache but do not know its cause, the GastroPanel blood test is a simple way to check your stomach health. For more information on the test, ask your doctor or visit The Acetaldehyde risk test found on this website can also help determine if you should start using Acetium.

Is Acetium a medication?

Acetium is not a medication but an over-the-counter product available in pharmacies. Acetium has been classified as a medical device by the Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea.

Why is Acetium not a medication?

As L-cysteine is a natural amino acid, it is not a foreign chemical substance as those used in medicinal products. Acetium also reacts locally in the stomach and is not absorbed into the bloodstream like medicinal products.

What is the daily intake of Acetium?

You should take 1-2 capsules during the main daily meal. If you also consume alcohol or other products with high amounts of acetaldehyde, the recommended dose is 2 capsules.

How much L-cysteine is in the daily dose?

The amount of L-cysteine is 300-800 mg, depending on the dosage. The maximum recommended daily intake of Acetium is 1g of L-cysteine.

Why is Acetium taken during meals?

In an anacidic stomach, acetaldehyde is formed from either carbohydrates (sugars) in food or alcohol. Acetium should therefore be taken when the stomach contains food or liquids that form acetaldehyde.

Are there side effects?

No. The L-cysteine contained in Acetium is a natural amino acid.

Can it cause an allergic reaction?

No. L-cysteine is a natural amino acid. Other ingredients in Acetium are also commonly used and safe.

Where is it manufactured?

In Finland, in a Finnish pharmaceutical plant.

When can I stop its use?

Those suffering from a chronic Helicobacter pylori infection or atrophic gastritis should never stop the use of Acetium. In the case of antacid medication users, the use of Acetium can stop when the medication ends.

Can I take it with other gastrointestinal medication?


Can I take it during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

As Acetium has not yet been studied in pregnant or breastfeeding women, its use cannot be recommended in these cases.

Can children take it?

As Acetium has not yet been studied in children, its use by them cannot be recommended.

Is it compensable by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela)?

As Acetium is not registered as a medicinal product, it is not compensable by Kela even when prescribed by a doctor.

Which disorders prohibit its use?

Acetium should not be used if you are suffering from severe renal insufficiency or cystinuria.

How does it differ from other medication for an anacidic stomach?

Acetium is not a medication or product for treating the stomach. Its purpose is to prevent the effects of carcinogenic acetaldehyde formed in an anacidic stomach. No curative medication exists for an anacidic stomach. Acetium is the first product in the world that can be recommended to patients after its diagnosis.

Has it been tested with animals?

No, and this would be impossible as the gastrointestinal microbiota of test animals differs completely from that of humans. On the other hand, safety tests are not necessary as Acetium uses a harmless amino acid that we consume naturally in our food.

Has it been tested in humans?

Yes. The clinical trial showed that on average, Acetium binds about 70% of acetaldehyde formed by alcohol in patients suffering from an anacidic stomach.

Can I drink more alcohol without harmful effects?

Acetium is not intended as a product that makes the consumption of alcohol safe. For example, it does not prevent liver cirrhosis or cancer or damage caused to the central nervous system. Long-term studies are needed to determine the degree to which Acetium is able to prevent gastric cancer. In light of current information, Acetium is known to significantly reduce the amount of carcinogenic acetaldehyde in an anacidic stomach.

Is L-cysteine obtained from food?

Yes, but this does not produce the same effect. L-cysteine obtained from food is not released until in the duodenum, from where it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. The L-cysteine in Acetium is released locally in the stomach at a regulated pace, where it binds with acetaldehyde.

What are cysteines?

Cysteine is a natural amino acid. The L-cysteine contained in Acetium capsules is plant-based. It is manufactured by the same process as penicillin, for example.

Are there equivalent cysteine products available?

Yes, but these do not function to prevent the effects of acetaldehyde. The L-cysteine contained in Acetium is released locally in the stomach at a regulated pace, while in other products, cysteine is absorbed into the bloodstream in the duodenum.

Which alcoholic beverages contain the most acetaldehyde?

 The most high-risk alcoholic beverages in terms of acetaldehyde include Calvados, sherry, port wine and ciders.

For how long can it be stored?

As listed in the product instructions, Acetium has a shelf life of 2 years at minimum.

What is acetaldehyde?

Acetaldehyde is the main metabolite in alcohol and is found commonly in foods and beverages. Acetaldehyde either forms during the fermentation process or is added as flavouring due to its apple-like scent. Hundreds of tons of acetaldehyde are manufactured each year for industrial uses. Some ingredients, such as fruits, also contain acetaldehyde.

Why is acetaldehyde dangerous?

The WHO has classified acetaldehyde as a category 1 carcinogen. This places it in the same risk group as asbestos, tobacco and benzene, for example.

Is it equally dangerous to everyone?

Yes, but individuals who take antacid medication or suffer from atrophic gastritis or Helicobacter pylori infection are exposed to acetaldehyde to a greater degree than the rest of the population.

What is the safe limit of daily acetaldehyde intake?

According to estimates, the daily dose of acetaldehyde for a person of normal weight (70 kg) should not exceed 0.4 milligrams. Based on this limit, the acetaldehyde concentration of alcoholic beverages or foods with a daily consumption of about 100 ml should not exceed 50 μmol/l. This safe limit corresponds well to findings from studies on the mutagenic nature of acetaldehyde. In addition, corresponding or higher acetaldehyde concentrations produced by microbes can be found in the human intestinal tract in connection with alcohol use. Acetaldehyde concentrations in foods and beverages vary significantly, and at worst, the amounts exceed safe limits by a factor of several thousands. The highest amounts are found in alcoholic beverages (particularly Calvados, sherry and ciders), fermented products and fruits and fruit-based products.

Where is it found?

The highest amounts are found in alcohol, tobacco and foods and beverages produced by a fermentation process. It is also used as a flavouring agent. Currently, exposure cannot be avoided as the acetaldehyde amounts are typically not reported for foods and beverages.

Is acetaldehyde formed in everyone?

Yes. All people carry microbes that produce acetaldehyde in the intestine and mouth. However, it is only formed in the stomach if the stomach suffers from anacidity. If this happens, microbes in the mouth can grow and reproduce in the stomach and produce high amounts of acetaldehyde. An infection of Helicobacter pylori may also cause a high acetaldehyde concentration in the stomach.