Some people will have their face turn extremely red when they drink alcohol, and it is not a good sign. Those who do turn red after drinking alcohol have a condition called alcohol flush reaction. They’re literally poisoning their bodies whenever they drink. Following is a transcript of the video.
Here’s why some people turn red when they drink. It’s a condition called “alcohol flush reaction.” Side effects include flushed skin, nausea, headache, and rapid heart beat.
The cause is a buildup of acetaldehyde in the body. Acetaldehyde is highly toxic and a known carcinogen. When alcohol hits the liver, it metabolizes into acetaldehyde.
Usually, it’s quickly converted to a safer form, acetate. But people with alcohol flush reaction are different. Their body turns alcohol into acetaldehyde faster. But their liver takes more time to turn acetaldehyde into acetate.
The results are: A less intense “buzz,” harsher side effects from acetaldehyde poisoning, and long-term, a higher risk of mouth and throat cancers.
Alcohol flush reaction is a genetic condition. It’s thought to originate among the Han Chinese, in central China. Over the centuries, it has spread throughout East Asia. An estimated 1/3 of East Asians have it.
Since the condition is genetic, there is no cure. The upside? Those afflicted often avoid excessive drinking and alcoholism.
by Gene Kim and Jessica Orwig