This commentary highlights the research presented by Zhu et al. [1]. In this issue of the Clinical Science, the authors evaluated the protective effect of Alda-1 (a novel class of small molecule aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) activators) in the intestinal ischemia reperfusion (IR) injury. Remarkably, enhancing the ADLH2 activity by the use of Alda-1 can ameliorate several deleterious effects related to aldehydes, and may provide a better protection against an injury preestablished by IR. Together, an innovative metabolic strategy for treating patients with IR injury could be the use of ALDH modulators in a near future.

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