Alcohol Flush Reaction

(redirected from Asian flush)
A condition caused by the incomplete metabolism of alcohol with accumulation of acetaldehyde due to a missense polymorphism in acetaldehyde dehydrogenase—ALDH2—resulting in bright red skin due to capillary dilation of face, neck, shoulder, and sometimes the entire body after consuming alcohol. Those with ALDH2 deficiency have up to a 10-fold greater risk of oesophageal cancer, attributed to the accumulation of acetaldehyde
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After news broke of Yulon Group Chairman Kenneth Yen's death on Monday due to esophageal cancer, doctors are warning Taiwanese that those with the so-called "Asian Flush," have a much higher risk for the disease.
In particular, those who experience the "Asian Flush," a flushed reaction many people in East Asia have to alcohol, may be much more prone to cancer when their esophagus is frequently inflamed.
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.
If in short order there was a sudden glow about the nation lit up by the Asian Flush, then certainly we would have done the pollsters a favor.
When I see people drinking and turning red with the first swig of beer, I think immediately, "Asian flush" or "Asian glow" or "alcohol flush reaction," which happens because of a genetic condition where the individual breaks down alcohol very rapidly, and shows effects like the skin flushing.
The origins of Asian flush are still not clearly understood, but one theory is that the condition gives people some protection from dreaded amoebic infections.
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