Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Red Means Stop

Today, many people I know have been circulating this NY times article about how "Drinkers’ Red Face May Signal Cancer Risk." This has of course alarmed my Asian friends and I the most since Asians are know for getting the "asian glow" when they drink.

Basically, the article talks about how certain people, most commonly of East Asian decent, do not have an enzyme ALDH2 to break down alcohol. This causes flushing, nausea, and rapid heartbeat, even after as little as half a beer. I already knew this. What I did not know is that some people think that without this enzyme, the toxin called acetaldehyde can accumulate in the bodies of moderate to heavy drinkers. This in turn may lead to throat cancer.

Although everything nowadays seems to cause cancer, the research seems a little shaky, and it seems like you need to drink a lot of alcohol for this to make an impact, it does provide a good lesson. If your body is physically reacting-whether it be flushing, nausea, and rapid heartbeat- you are not the only person and you should feel comfortable stopping. The article talks about how you should not disregard these warning signs by continuing to drink or taking antihistamines to mask the glow.

My friends may make fun of me for drinking beer really slowly, but I'd rather have lukewarm beer than get sick. I just do what my body tells me to do. Plus, it makes me a cheap date.

1 comment:

chaka said...

WHAT? you drink beer? :O