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Why Does My Face Get Red When I Drink Alcohol (Alcohol Red Face)?

Why Does My Face Get Red When I Drink Alcohol (Alcohol Red Face)?

Turning red in the face when drinking alcohol is a very common experience and people often wonder why it is happening. It is often confused with an alcohol allergy. Often called “Alcohol Red Face”, the correct term for this is Alcohol Flush Reaction. Alcohol Flush Reaction may also come with other physical symptoms, including a feeling of overheating, increased heart rate, and sometimes headache, dizziness and nausea.

What Causes Alcohol Flush Reaction?

Alcohol Flush Reaction is caused by a build-up of a dangerous toxin called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is very reactive and causes damage to DNA and proteins, and leads to the inflammation that causes the face to turn red from alcohol.


When we drink alcohol, our body turns the alcohol into acetaldehyde. Normally, this acetaldehyde is quickly broken down and becomes non-toxic. However, about 1 billion people globally have a genetic condition called ALDH2 Deficiency, and cannot properly break down the acetaldehyde. Approximately 40% of the East Asian population have ALDH2 Deficiency. In those with ALDH2 Deficiency, the acetaldehyde accumulates to very high levels and leads to the experience of Alcohol Flush Reaction. Alcohol Flush Reaction is often an indication of ALDH2 Deficiency.


How Does ALDH2 Deficiency Impact Our Health?

A red face from alcohol can be frustrating and annoying, but it is a sign that more serious damage is occurring in the body. As the acetaldehyde builds up, it continuously causes damage, and those with ALDH2 Deficiency are at significantly increased risk of liver disease and cancers like esophageal cancer and gastric cancer. This is due to long-term exposure to acetaldehyde from not just alcohol, but other major sources that we should be aware of too


People with ALDH2 Deficiency should be careful of how much alcohol they consume because of the long-term health concerns. In addition, they should be aware of the other sources of acetaldehyde in the environment which cause acetaldehyde to constantly build and circulate in the body at low levels every day.


Even if we limit our alcohol intake, it is difficult to completely avoid acetaldehyde because it is also enters our bodies through air pollution (car exhaust, industrial pollution), foods and beverages (fermented foods, yogurt, ripe fruit, bread, coffee, tea), and cigarette smoke.


Is There a Cure for ALDH2 Deficiency?

Because ALDH2 Deficiency is a genetic enzyme mutation, there is no way to ‘cure’ the problem. However, there are certain things we can do to reduce our health risk and enjoy the best life possible. The main thing is to keep our body’s acetaldehyde accumulation as low as possible. Limiting our intake of alcohol, coffee, sugary foods and beverages, and exposure to air pollution and cigarette smoke can help reduce acetaldehyde accumulation. Also, taking a daily dietary supplement, such as Essential AD2, can help reduce acetaldehyde accumulation in the body every day.


How Does Essential AD2 Work?

Essential AD2 was clinically designed specifically to address ALDH2 Deficiency. It’s patent-pending formula represents a special concentration of natural ingredients Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the U.S. FDA. The proprietary blend enables the body to target acetaldehyde breakdown in two ways: (1) by increasing the activity of the ALDH2 Deficient enzyme to improve the natural breakdown of the acetaldehyde, and (2) by directly counteracting the acetaldehyde toxin. Essential AD2’s efficacy in reducing acetaldehyde accumulation during alcohol consumption has been demonstrated through third party, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical research.


There are many things in life that we cannot control – like conditions that we inherited genetically from our parents. However, we can still enjoy the best life possible by taking steps to limit our exposure to everyday toxins like acetaldehyde.