Alcohol Flush Reaction: Blame Genes and Race

Admin | Published 2016-11-16 14:35

Some people go lobster to beet red after consuming certain amount of alcohol. They would look like alcohol had it worst for them. This had also kept some people from consuming alcohol at all. What exactly is behind this?

If you're Asian, you are more likely to have the alcohol flush or some call it, the Asian flush when you consume alcohol. It is said that 80% of Asians, 36% of that are East Asians of Chinese, Japanese and Korean ancestry are prone to alcohol flush. Blame it on to a variant of the gene coding for alcohol-metabolizing enzymes called ADH1B and ADH1C. Both enzymes convert alcohol to toxic acetaldehyde. Almost all Chinese, Japanese and Korean carries the ADH1C. The ADH1C converts to acetaldehyde faster by 40 to 100-fold than ADH1B. It's now a race between a race. Sweet Lord of Alcohol! It is also found that the Asians don't just have the ADH1C enzyme to blame. The 50% of Asians also carry the gene variant in the mitochondria called ALDH2 allele which worsens the accumulation of acetaldehyde. The result may not give them the alcohol "buzz" but shows more of its side effect when drinking. There is no treatment to Asian alcohol flush since it's a mutation and genetic issue. You simply just have to stop drinking alcohol or go Red Hulk every time you drink. Just to make your decision easier, this Asian alcohol flush is associated to the increased risk of esophageal cancer. Alcohol flush reaction does not do the hustle alone. Most of the time, it calls on tachycardia and nausea. If you had it worst, you could be this guy after a hangover. Source: Wikipedia
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