Many East Asians get a red face when they drink alcohol. This is the result of a genetic condition that also increases drinkers' risk of esophageal cancer. Transcript of radio broadcast:.
They said about a third of East Asians — Chinese, Japanese and Koreans — have an enzyme deficiency that causes their skin to flush when they drink alcohol, and this trait puts them at higher risk of developing esophageal cancer, an especially deadly type with five-year survival rates of 12 to 31 percent. Brooks estimates that at least million people have this alcohol-related increased risk for esophageal cancer. He said the flushing response occurs in people who have a variation in the ALDH gene, which makes an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 that helps the body metabolize alcohol.
But as it turns out, having an ugly photo on social media might not be a bad thing — especially when compared to the more serious repercussions of trying to mask that dreaded Asian Flush. Photo: Unsplash. What exactly is the Asian Flush?
Alcohol is produced by the fermentation of sugars and starches by yeast. Alcohol is also found in some medicines, mouthwashes, and household products including vanilla extract and other flavorings. This fact sheet focuses on cancer risks associated with the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
There is growing evidence that people who experience facial flushing after drinking alcohol are at much higher risk of esophageal cancer from alcohol consumption than those who do not. About a third of East Asians Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans show a characteristic physiological response to drinking alcohol that includes facial flushing, nausea, and an increased heart rate. This so-called "alcohol flushing response" is predominantly due to an inherited deficiency in an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 ALDH2.
Alcohol flush reaction is a condition in which a person develops flushes or blotches associated with erythema on the face, neck, shoulders, and in some cases, the entire body after consuming alcoholic beverages. The reaction is the result of an accumulation of acetaldehydea metabolic byproduct of the catabolic metabolism of alcoholand is caused by an aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 deficiency. This syndrome has been associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer in those who drink.
The body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, a toxin that can damage DNA, before processing it into an energy source, according to Ketan J. Patel, the lead author of the study, published earlier this month in the journal Nature. But approximately million people of East Asian descent carry a mutated gene responsible for encoding aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 ALDH2the enzyme that breaks down acetaldehyde, rendering it ineffective.
For many, alcohol represents leisure, happiness and celebration of special events or festivals. However, in the past few decades, there had been a growing body of evidence linking alcohol consumption and increased cancer risk. Drinking alcohol is linked to a higher risk of at least 7 types of cancer, including breastcolorectalliveroral cavity, pharynx, larynx, and oesophagus cancers. Inthe World Health Organization has recognized alcoholic beverages are carcinogenic to humans.
The occurrence of more than diseases, including cancer, can be attributed to alcohol drinking. The global cancer deaths attributed to alcohol-consumption rose fromin toin Incancer deaths due to alcohol consumption accounted for 4.
Monday, March 23, Many people of East Asian descent possess an enzyme deficiency that causes their skin to redden, or flush, when they drink alcohol. Scientists from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA and Japan's Kurihama Alcohol Center now caution that heavy alcohol consumption greatly increases the risk for esophageal cancer among such individuals, who comprise about 8 percent of the world's population.