The Asian Flush Syndrome

The what who where?!?!

Asian people out there, if you have not heard about this before, take heed! That redness (flushing) you get after alcohol consumption may not be “excellent blood circulation”. AMM has read about this report before and thought it will be good to share. Like many others, AMM used to think that he has “excellent blood circulation” as he gets red easily when drinking alcohol. So easily that sometimes 1 sip of red wine does the trick!

The syndrome is prevalent in Asia especially of Chinese, Korean and Japanese ancestry and is caused by a variant of two different genes. Basically the 2 scenarios are:

  • 1 of the gene variant allows an increased efficiency of alcohol conversion up to 100 times to a by product acetaldehyde
  • the other gene variant has a lowered efficiency in the breaking down of acetaldehyde

So you may ask… what is acetaldehyde? Is it that bad? Well… yes! Acetaldehyde is a carcinogen and it stays in the body much longer than alcohol, which means a greater risk of developing cancer. Acetaldehyde is also the reason for the flushing as it causes the blood vessels to dilate and increases the heart rate.

At the end of the day, AMM believes everything in moderation and that if its meant to be, its meant to be.


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