Behind the 'Asian flush'

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Ever had one of those bright red flushes after indulging in some drinks? Find out what it's about.

shutterstock 124117471 Behind the 'Asian flush'

Is there something more dangerous to the “Asian flush”?

When you are out drinking with your friends, chances are that one of you will develop what is known as an Asian flush. An Asian flush is basically a bright red flush, which occurs due to the consumption of alcohol. Asians are especially prone to getting it, which explains how the name was derived.

Over the years, I have heard my fair share of opinions regarding what the Asian flush actually means. Some say the Asian flush implies that one has a good blood circulation and hence the reddish flush. Others say it is a sign of the body not being able to absorb alcohol properly. Well apparently, a new report by NBC news which has been gaining significant attention on social media, looks set on dismissing those rumours to rest and clear this issue up once and for all.

What the Asian flush means

Philip J. Brooks, an investigator with the Division of Metabolism and Health Affects at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, states that the Asian flush “happens predominantly in individuals of Japanese, Chinese or Korean descent. People who have this will get a facial flush, a headache and will feel nauseous at the time they’re drinking. it’s not just flushing. They’ll also get an increased heart rate. It’s a pretty unpleasant experience.”

shutterstock 110921999 Behind the 'Asian flush'

Asian flush can actually be quite dangerous for your health

According to Brooks, the Asian flush is caused by the bodies’ difficulty in being able to metabolise alcohol. Individuals who shows signs of the Asian flush have a genetic deficiency, which might result in the accumulation of the toxic acetaldehyde. Brooks adds that people who exhibit the Asian flush also have a likelier chance of getting esophageal cancer!

So it seems like the innocuous Asian flush, which many people get, could actually imply a much more serious problem, namely the fact that these people are at a higher risk of getting esophageal cancer. Furthermore, Brooks states that “Anyone who drinks is at risk, but the more you drink, the more your risk goes up. And when you’re ADLH2-deficient, your risk goes up much more dramatically.”

What this means for parents

With the birth of your children, your hardcore partying days are probably long over but many working parents still have to consume a lot of alcohol when entertaining clients due to the nature of their job. The last thing any parent would want is to contract a deadly illness like esophageal cancer apart from the hefty medical fees involved. They would also be less likely to properly take care of their children. While we are not advocating that you completely abstain from alcohol, it is important to just remember the harms caused by it, especially if you are one of those people who regularly gets the Asian flush.