Have you ever wondered why some people suffer from red facial flushing when drinking alcohol? Alcohol Flush Reaction caused by ALDH2 Deficiency, a genetic mutation to an enzyme in the liver. 40% of East Asians have ALDH2 Deficiency, which passes genetically from parents to their children. People with ALDH2 Deficiency have a difficult time metabolizing acetaldehyde when it enters the body (through alcohol, everyday diet, air pollution, cigarette smoking). It is the rapid accumulation of toxic acetaldehyde (especially when drinking alcohol) that causes red facial flushing, increased temperature & heart rate, headache, and nausea. As acetaldehyde circulates within the body, it causes inflammation and reactive damage to our proteins and DNA. People with ALDH2 Deficiency suffer from higher long term rates of gastric cancer, liver cirrhosis, and Alzheimer’s.
What Can We Do About ALDH2 Deficiency?
Because ALDH2 Deficiency is genetic, there is no 'cure' to permanently fix this enzyme in our liver. However, there are many lifestyle things we can do to enjoy the best life possible. Here are things we can do to lower the level of acetaldehyde in our body:
- Limit alcohol consumption (highest concentration of acetaldehyde).
- Minimize exposure to air pollution and cigarette smoke.
- Reduce intake of coffee, sugary foods and beverages.
- Take a daily vitamin supplement (e.g., Essential AD2) to boost the activity of the mutated ALDH2 enzyme and clear everyday acetaldehyde levels in the body.
Does Essential AD2 Help With Alcohol Flush Reaction (aka Asian Flush/Asian Glow)?
When consuming alcohol, two extra Essential AD2 tablets should be taken 45 minutes before drinking to help reduce rapid acetaldehyde accumulation. It is the high levels of acetaldehyde that cause people with ALDH2 Deficiency to experience alcohol flush reaction (facial redness, warm temperature, headache, dizziness, nausea). As the acetaldehyde leaves the body, the facial redness is reduced. Since acetaldehyde is a major contributor to hangovers (along with dehydration and lack of sleep), hangover effects may also lessen. For maximum effectiveness, two Essential AD2 tablets should be taken daily, in addition to taking two extra tablets before alcohol consumption. Taking two tablets daily helps keep the ALDH2 Deficient enzyme more active, and ready to fight against Alcohol Flush Reaction.
Do I Need to Worry About ALDH2 Deficiency If I Don't Drink Alcohol Often?
Unfortunately, people with ALDH2 Deficiency suffer from higher rates of long term diseases like gastric/esophageal cancer, liver cirrhosis, and Alzheimer’s even if they do not drink alcohol frequently. This is because acetaldehyde is found everywhere in our modern environment in certain foods and sugars, air pollution and cigarette smoke. People with ALDH2 Deficiency have a difficult time metabolizing acetaldehyde, resulting in low levels of acetaldehyde accumulation in our bodies on a daily basis. The good news is that if you do not drink alcohol frequently, your rate of esophageal cancer is only 2x higher versus 70x times for a heavy drinker with ALDH2 Deficiency.
What Treatments Should Be Avoided?
There are some who suggest taking antacids and antihistamines to reduce facial redness while drinking alcohol. However, this off-label use is not recommended by the medical community. Antacids and antihistamines may help reduce facial redness, but do not reduce toxic acetaldehyde accumulation. In fact, they may do the opposite and suppress metabolic activity further, resulting in potential alcohol poisoning. When combined with alcohol, antacids may also damage the stomach.
How Does Essential AD2 Help With ALDH2 Deficiency?
Essential AD2 is clinically proven and specifically designed for people and family members with ALDH2 Deficiency. The ingredients are found in nature and considered safe by the U.S. FDA. Specially formulated, the combination and concentration of ingredients work together to (1) increase the activity of the ALDH2 Deficient enzyme, (2) react directly with the acetaldehyde toxin to clear it out, and (3) boost our natural metabolism. For best results, two tablets should be taken daily to keep the ALDH2 Deficient enzyme more active and to reduce everyday accumulation of acetaldehyde in the body.
Will There Ever Be A Permanent Cure?
In early 2015, a biotech company identified in mice a small molecule (Alda-89) that could potentially ‘hijack’ and convert ALDH2 Deficient enzymes into functioning enzymes. Unfortunately, the molecule was found unsuitable for use in humans due to its toxicity. It seems that a ‘cure’ through enzyme ‘hijacking’ could be decades away and cost-prohibitive.
In the meantime, for the 40% of Asians and 1 billion people globally who have ALDH2 Deficiency, Essential AD2 provides a very simple, easy way to reduce Asian Glow and also enjoy better, everyday healthier living.