When alcohol is consumed, it is broken down into a compound called acetaldehyde through the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase. It is later broken down into harmless compounds through a second enzyme called acetaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 ALDH2. Unfortunately, Asians have two problems here. This speeds up the breakdown of alcohol into acetaldehyde by as much as times faster. The synergistic effect of both conditions is flushing that escalates quickly but wears off slowly.
Drinks that taste like juice but hit you hard later >
What Causes “Asian Glow?” | Yale Scientific Magazine
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Taiwan, and the factors that can lead to stroke are numerous, including age, hypertension, diabetes, high blood lipids, heart disease, atrial fibrillation, smoking and so on. But a new study found that men who experience the so-called "Asian flush" are nearly twice as likely to have a stroke as the general population. The results of the study were published in the International Journal of medicine article titled "Stroke" in September. The enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase ALDH2 plays a crucial role in human metabolism of alcohol, but people who easily become flushed even after only having one drink, may have the genetic mutation of this enzyme responsible for what is often referred to as the Asian flush or "Asian glow" response. Three general studies have found that the two Asian alleles of the ALDH2 gene result in very different physical responses to the ingestion of alcohol. In addition to a deep reddening of the face, people in this second group may also experience palpitations, nausea, vomiting and other physical discomfort. To avoid the threat of a stroke, persons who have this mutation of ALDH2 should completely avoid drinking alcohol and smoking, and should exercise regularly while maintaining a healthy diet.
Jean Teng can't really drink - not without feeling really, really sick. So why does she feel so compelled to do it anyway - and what does this say about our obsession with alcohol? In a country who likes someone who can hold their drink, I am the worst at holding my drink out of everyone I know. And I wish I could have.
After a full day of rooftop drinking and dancing with the boyfriend and my friends, I gotta say this:. Like many Asians, I get red when I drink alcohol, even just a little. But you just saw the glow part. So, heads up.