As many as one in two persons of Asian descent possess non-functional copies of the liver enzyme (ALDH-2) needed to process acetaldehyde. Even a single cocktail can lead to Asian flush, a painful and embarrassing condition resulting from acetaldehyde levels shooting up 6 to 20 times that of people with normal ALDH-2. This burst of acetaldehyde triggers facial flushing, elevated heart rate, headache, nausea, dizziness and vomiting.
Although most with this condition view it as a minor inconvenience, it has been suggested that those with alcohol flush reaction may be at higher risk for alcohol related conditions such as liver disease, asthma, and cancer of the esophagus. Among flushers who are heavy drinkers the incidence of upper gastrointestinal tract cancer is about 50 times higher than normal. Higher rates of head and neck cancer have also been noted.
A functional shot/mixer supplement (Google: "Cheerz IntelliShot Asian flush") has garnered strong anecdotal evidence of efficacy against this condition.
A condition which is characterized by a low tolerance for alcohol, affecting statistically about 50% of Asians. Scientific research reveals that it is caused by what is considered a genetic defect, and as such, typically cannot be "overcome". Symptoms are alcohol-induced, can range from mild to severe depending on the individual, and include:
- redness and "flushing" of the face
- a sensation of heat
- splotchy redness on the neck, shoulders, and upper torso
- accelerated intoxication
Though it is thought to be an Asian affliction exclusively, it is a misnamed syndrome which is found in half of all Asians, small numbers of Caucasians, and ALL Native Americans.
Research is being done on this strange condition known as "asian flush", using Native American participants.
the rosy cheeks asians sometimes get due to a slower metabolism of alcohol (ethanol)
susie is from japan and when she has a lot of sake, she sure gets the asian flush
Also known as the asian glow, this is a slightly embarassing condition in which the flow of blood to one's face increases after the imbuement of a relatively small amount of alcohol, resulting in rosy cheeks - it may look as though one has just come in from the cold.
Asian flush results from the fact that the rate of metabolism of alcohol in one's asian digestive system is unfortunately much lower than the alcohol intake rate - even when one is drinking alcohol at a reasonable rate.
As a result, many asians have very low alcohol tolerance. However, asian/european half-breeds (sometimes referred to as eurasian, mixers and halfies) are sometimes lucky enough to have a genetic cure for this condition.
"Man, look at Stu. Two beers and he's already championing the asian flush."
"Good thing I'm eurasian ... my Irish blood is neutralizing the asian flush."