We went out for our pal Rachelle's birthday on Saturday - karaoke and everything, it was a lot of fun! Yuko rarely drinks because of how she responded to alcohol once in college - she skipped all the fun parts and went straight to bargling. After it happened again over the weekend (despite having plenty of water and a full stomach) I decided to do some research.
Asian alcohol intolerance is real (to varying degrees for different people) and is caused by a gene mutation. It affects only part of the Asian population. The liver produces two enzymes to break down alcohol - the first enzyme converts the alcohol to acetaldehyde, and second enzyme converts acetaldehyde to acetic acid (which can eventually be broken down into carbon dioxide and water). People with the gene mutation have decreased activity of the second enzyme, which means that they experience a buildup of acetaldehyde - toxic in large quantities. The flushing that comes with drinking is a sign that the body is trying to expel the buildup of toxin through sweating (vomiting in extreme cases). Further reading below (it was tough to find good sources but I think these worked out):
- Wikipedia: Alcohol flush reaction
- The Daily: The 'Asian glow' explained
- WiseGEEK: Do People of Asian Descent Have Difficulty Metabolizing Alcohol?
I'm curious to hear from any of you who know more or have had similar experiences, especially any of you whose experience has been more to the extreme.
CMYcat t-shirts are almost sold out! There are a couple of Mens' Large and XL tees left. But not to worry! We put in an order for more yesterday, and while we're at it we're bringing back the Hokusai tees! I'll post about it ahead of restocking - it'll be some time in the next few weeks.
That's all from us! We'll be playing a bit of catch-up over the next couple of days, but I'll drop in and respond to comments when I can. Til Thursday!