Friday, October 21, 2011

My alcohol flush

Some people would know that I never had an alcohol reaction until I went for an exchange in Germany a couple of years ago (after that huge dose of alcohol from my birthday party LOLX). That rash breakout lasted two weeks...

Since then, I have been trying to find out why am I getting an alcohol reaction now?! It's really kind of weird. Because red wine's fine, most white wine is ok. Radler is the only beer-mix that I can withstand for beer, before breaking out the next day. And the rashes (thankfully) is only limited to my torso that is hidden usually behind clothes. So, it's probably not the alcohol per se, perhaps the LEVEL of alcohol, or some other substance.

Just something somewhat related. Recently did 23andme. I was told rs671 gives rise to a variation of ALDH2 - ALDH2*2 - which is a mutation of G>A that results in an alcohol flush reaction. Each copy of A is an ALDH2*2. I have a genotype of GG.. This is expected since I do not have past history of having a flush in any way.... Not even now, since the reaction I described above occurs only A DAY after I drink... An actual flush reaction (see image below) occurs typically almost immediately. I have friends who turn red like lobsters.
"In the body, alcohol is first converted into acetaldehyde, a potentially cancer-causing toxin, and then into a harmless substance called acetate.  An enzyme called ALDH2 is responsible for the crucial detoxifying step.  But a genetic variation known as ALDH2*2, most commonly found in people with Asian ancestry, can render the enzyme unable to convert acetaldehyde into acetate." 

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