Why do I turn red when drinking?
The topic of Alcohol Flush Reaction is spreading quickly, and the near 500,000 shares on the video go to show that it is a topic people care about. The video published this week gives a great look at what Alcohol Flush Reaction is on the surface. The key takeaway: those who experience Alcohol Flush Reaction can’t break down a toxic metabolite of alcohol, called acetaldehyde, which dangerously builds up in the liver and the rest of the body and causes serious harm.
If you might be confused about why Alcohol Flush Reaction happens, have a difficult time explaining it to others, or have never heard of it at all, this video is a great educational tool that clearly describes this negative reaction to alcohol.
The video also explains the connection between experiencing Alcohol Flush Reaction and having an increased risk of cancer, particularly mouth and throat cancers. In only one and a half minutes, it is difficult to go much deeper, but what is missing is the underlying why a layer deeper: why can’t I break down this acetaldehyde toxin?
The answer is ALDH2 Deficiency. Alcohol Flush Reaction is only a symptom of ALDH2 Deficiency, a much larger issue than just turning red when drinking. ALDH2 Deficiency is a genetic mutation, and it is this mutation that leaves a person unable to break down acetaldehyde, the toxin that causes the increased risk in cancer described in the video. Alcohol Flush Reaction is so noticeable because the body is being exposed to lots of acetaldehyde in a very short period of time, and the body is reacting negatively to the poison. What’s of perhaps greater concern, is the constant exposure to acetaldehyde we may be experiencing in our every day lives.
Acetaldehyde is the most common air pollutant, and those who have ALDH2 Deficiency and live in urban areas are constant being exposed to the toxin in the air. Acetaldehyde is also the most common toxin in cigarette smoke, and is responsible for many of the long-term health effects of smoking. Finally, acetaldehyde is found in common foods and beverages like ripe fruit, coffee, tea, and yogurts.
Videos like this are great educational tools, and the popularity of this video goes to show that this is a topic that is of high interest to people. Until recent years, awareness about Alcohol Flush Reaction, and the negative health risks that come with it, has been low. However, to understand the full story of Alcohol Flush Reaction, we need to put it in the context of ALDH2 Deficiency and acetaldehyde, and those with ALDH2 Deficiency need to be aware of all the sources of acetaldehyde we may be exposed to.
It is important for those with ALDH2 Deficiency to protect themselves from acetaldehyde and limit alcohol consumption. Essential AD2 is clinically proven to relieve acetaldehyde build-up in those with ALDH2 Deficiency, and also relieve the symptoms of Alcohol Flush Reaction during alcohol consumption.
For those who can’t watch the video with sound, here is a transcript of the language in the video:
“Here’s why some people turn red when they drink. It’s a condition called Alcohol Flush Reaction. Side effects include flushed skin, nausea, headache, and rapid heart rate.
The cause is a build up of acetaldehyde in the body. Acetaldehyde is highly toxin, and a known carcinogen. When alcohol hits the liver, it metabolizes into acetaldehyde. Usually it is quickly converted to a safer form: acetate. But people with Alcohol Flush Reaction are different. Their body turns alcohol into acetaldehyde faster and their liver takes more time to turn acetaldehyde into acetate.
The results are: A less intense buzz, harsher side effects from acetaldehyde poisoning, and long-term, a higher risk of mouth and throat cancers.
Alcohol Flush Reaction is a genetic condition. It is thought to originate from the Han Chinese in central China. Over the centuries, it has spread throughout East Asia. An estimated 1/3 of East Asians have it.
Since the condition is genetic, there is no cure. The upside: those afflicted often avoid excessive drinking and alcoholism.”