Asian Glow – The Redness On Your Face Says a Lot
Posted: Dec 16, 2016
Alcohol consumption seems to be closely associated with the celebrations. Be it any wedding, friends get-together, bachelor’s party, reunion or any other event, no party is complete without the inclusion of alcoholic beverages. But have you ever thought you may be allergic to alcohol. Yes, this is completely true and alcohol intolerance is pretty much common, particularly in Asian region. The first sign is the redness of face after downing alcoholic beverages. If you were thinking that it is a sign of good blood circulation, you need to correct yourself as this could be "Asian flush syndrome", or " Asian Glow ".
One interesting thing about this syndrome is that it is more common among Asians of Chinese, Korean and Japanese descent. If you belong to Asia region and drink alcohol often, you may have a higher risk of getting stomach or esophageal cancer or peptic ulcers due to a genetic incapacity to capably process acetaldehyde, a toxic by-product of alcohol metabolism.
To understand this more, let’s see how body metabolizes or breaks down the alcohol. There is a role of two enzymes:
- Alcohol dehydrogenase which first converts alcohol into acetaldehyde and
- Acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) which breaks down acetaldehyde into mild combinations.
A majority of Asians have a sluggish variant of the important liver enzyme ALDH2 that plays a key role in the above given process. This simply refers that the by-product acetaldehyde tales a bit longer to clear from their blood. This accumulation of acetaldehyde is makes blood vessels to dilate and the face to turn red, commonly known as " Asian flush syndrome". The issue is much beyond aesthetics: Acetaldehyde is found to be more toxic than alcohol and a notorious cancer-causing agent.
Acetaldehyde can lead to inflammation in the upper gastrointestinal tract, cause DNA damage, and augment one’s risk for gastrointestinal disorders, specifically esophageal and stomach cancers as well as peptic ulcers. Do you know that if you’re suffering from "Asian Glow" syndrome and consume two beers a day, you’re at 10 more risk than an individual with normal ALDH2?
Some common signs of Asian flush syndrome include rapid heartbeat, nausea, facial blushing, and headaches. In simple terms, if your face turns red after consuming alcohol, you may be suffering from this syndrome. And it is necessary to take right steps to avoid further complications. The first & foremost advice to manage this situation is to limit your alcohol consumption.