#1 Cat Detective Agency: Oh that oriental blush!

15 Jun

Look like a radioactive tomato…and get cancer too!  WONDERFUL!


30-50% of people of Asian/Oriental decent suffer from what is known as Asian Flush/Blush/Glow when they drink alcohol…sounds pretty cute doesn’t it…

No!  Big ole tomato head…not fun!

This is caused by a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism of the mitochondrial ALDH2  isozyme leading to an allelic varient that is pretty much inactive…this just means that a little change in DNA leads to stuff not working properly.

ALDH2 is part of the system that breaks down alcohol…it breaks down acetaldehyde which is not a very nice compound to have in high levels in the body…normally up to 95% is broken down quite quickly…not with the ALDH2*2 variant!


High levels of blood acetaldehyde can cause: 

  • rapid onset skin vaso-dilation in the face, neck and chest region (facial flushing)
  • tachycardia (palpitations)
  • headache
  • nausea
  • hypotension
  • pruritus (itchiness)
  • alcohol-induced asthma
  • extreme drowsiness


Sounds fun!?!…GETS BETTER!

High levels of acetaldehyde also correlate to an increased risk of head and neck cancers…including a 10 fold risk increase for developing Esophageal Cancer…LOVELY!

The only silver lining to being a flushing oriental is that ALDH2*2 also correlates with a decreased incidence of alcoholism…

Not really a surprise!!  If you ended up a palpitating, cancer riddled, bright red mess with a hang over…you probably wouldn’t drink all the time!


One Response to “#1 Cat Detective Agency: Oh that oriental blush!”

  1. tyana March 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm #


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: