By Amy Chang, CEO of Delta Nutrassentials
The first time I ever tried alcohol, I was about twelve years old. My parents never kept alcohol in our home, except for the jug of cooking wine that was always underneath the kitchen sink. My father has such an extreme case of Asian Glow, that he refuses to drink and I have never seen him drink at all. One day, my parents had a gathering of friends at the house. Someone actually brought beer, something that had never happened before. That’s probably why I remember it so vividly. It was Coors beer. In cans. And it was lukewarm.
And so I stole a sip. My immediate thoughts: “Whoa, it’s bitter and doesn’t taste very good. Note to self, Coors doesn’t taste that good.” And then I noticed that my face was warm and I had turned bright red. That was the day I discovered that I have Asian Glow.
My father never drank alcohol, but my mother occasionally did. Sometimes while my mother was cooking, she would take a few sips of the cooking wine. I could always tell because she would turn bright red. During trips to Taiwan to visit relatives, I noticed that the older generations of men liked to drink alcohol and many of them had Asian Glow – like my grandfather and uncles on my mother’s side, and my father’s closest friends (all whom I fondly also referred to as “uncles”). I don’t even remember what kind of alcohol they drank, I just remembered there were many red faces. They smoked many cigarettes too. Except for my father. He gave up chain smoking the day I was born. I liked the fact that my father never drank alcohol or smoked and seemed impervious to peer pressure.
At age 17, I moved away to attend college at U.C. Berkeley. I was a bit intimidated by my peers because they were all very smart. My freshman year, I rarely drank alcohol because I didn’t think I could afford to kill any brain cells since everyone was so smart. I studied very hard to keep my grade point average up. I was fascinated by the students who were so smart that they could smoke pot and drink alcohol until late at night and then still achieve decent scores the next day. By my sophomore year, I had joined a sorority. I convinced my father to let me join the sorority by presenting him with a cost-benefit analysis that showed how the living costs were the same and the benefits were superior. He liked the idea of me living in a house with 60 other women and that the average sorority GPA was higher than the all-campus GPA at the time.
I was super-naïve when I joined the Greek system. I got lucky and didn’t get hazed as a pledge. I later found out that unbeknownst to me, the sorority was on probation that semester for prior hazing infractions, which is why I didn’t get hazed. Sometimes I feel like God has a funny sense of humor and looks out for me. The sorority was 15-20% Asian women. Many of us had Asian Glow. Looking back at old photos, it’s hard to tell whether the row of red faces was from drinking or all the dancing. Regardless, a great time was had by all!
Right after graduation, I went on the Overseas Youth Study Tour to Taiwan (aka “Love Boat”). It was there that I met my future husband, who I would marry six years later. He did not inherit the Asian Glow that his uncles from the prior generation displayed. In fact, his alcohol tolerance was so high that he could easily down ten drinks without suffering any nausea whatsoever. He and his friends drank six nights a week during Love Boat, leaving Sunday to be a ‘day of rest’. Six years later at our wedding, my fiancé had purchased non-alcoholic wine for me so that I could toast all of our guests at the banquet without my face being red in the photos. In total, we had a great thirteen-year relationship before we parted ways, and I have many fond memories of my ex and his drinking buddies.
At the end of 2015, I met the co-founders of Delta Nutrassentials, who asked me to join their team. I was intrigued to hear there was a vitamin supplement product that could help my Asian Glow, which was genetically caused by my ALDH2 Deficiency. I was titillated that someone had actually tried to address this annoying Asian Glow problem in my life. I have always known that my ALDH2 Deficiency meant that my body could not efficiently metabolize acetaldehyde into harmless acetic acid. I knew that it was the rapid accumulation of acetaldehyde that causes my Asian Glow symptoms. What I didn’t realize at the time (but now clearly understand) is that acetaldehyde is a Group 1 carcinogen and is a major contributor to the direct link between alcohol consumption and cancer.
Unfortunately for the 1 billion Asian people worldwide with ALDH2 Deficiency, we experience higher than average rates of esophageal cancer (2x to 70x more), liver cirrhosis (3x more) and Alzheimer’s (1.5x more). The higher risk is there, even if we completely abstain from drinking alcohol. This is because acetaldehyde is found everywhere in our modern environment, including air pollution (indoor and outdoor), cigarette smoke, and everyday diet such as coffee, tea, fruits, and high-sugar foods. I love coffee and fruit! These are two foods that I would not want to go without!
Like many Asian women, one of my goals is to age very well and live a long, healthy life. This means that I aspire to always look at least ten years younger than my actual age. Since my early twenties, I have been very disciplined about exercising, wearing sunscreen, and taking vitamin supplements. I have added Essential AD2 by Delta Nutrassentials to my daily vitamin supplement regimen to reduce everyday acetaldehyde accumulation in my body. Essential AD2 is specially formulated and clinically-proven to protect the health of people with ALDH2 Deficiency.
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 natural metabolism. It’s important to take two Essential AD2 tablets daily because the compounds build up in our system to more effectively counteract everyday acetaldehyde (especially for coffee-drinkers and fruit-eaters like me). In addition to taking it every day, I also take two more tablets 45 minutes before drinking alcohol to reduce my Asian Glow symptoms. There was a one month period when I wasn’t able to take Essential AD2 because the company ran out of inventory. During that month, I actually noticed feeling slightly more inflamed than usual at night while trying to sleep, and I could not wait to start taking the product again. It’s funny how we realize how much we miss something when we suddenly can’t have it!
I am very proud to be part of the Delta Nutrassentials team. We are very passionate about spreading global awareness of the health impacts associated with ALDH2 Deficiency and acetaldehyde accumulation in the body. Please join us on this journey and help us spread the word. And thank you for taking the time to hear my personal story. I am truly grateful and humbled.