Sun. Jan 29th, 2023
Put Down the Beer: Alcohol Flush May Be a Deadly Sign

Scott Markewitz / Getty

If you’re East or Southeast Asian, you’re probably very familiar with the alcohol flushing response—otherwise known as the “Asian glow.” After one or two drinks, your face and body grows redder than a sun-dried tomato, and people start asking you if you somehow got sunburned at the bar or party that night.

The flushing response is the result of a genetic quirk. More specifically, it’s an inherited deficiency with an enzyme dubbed aldehyde deydrogenase 2 (ALDH2). This genetic variant itself is called ALDH2*2 and affects roughly 8 percent of the world population.

While the glow is often just an embarrassing thing that can happen during a night out, more and more researchers are discovering that it can actually have some life-threatening effects on the human body. Stanford scientists published a paper on Jan. 25 in the journal Science Translation Medicine that found that those with the flushing gene variant might have a higher risk of heart disease. The findings suggest that those with the variant might want to reconsider their drinking habits.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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