Asian Flush is a sign that there’s all this acetaldehyde circulating in the body, roughing us up and causing the dreaded Asian Glow, as well as a bunch of other symptoms. We’ve learned by now that Asian Flush is an indicator of a greater underlying problem called ALDH2 Deficiency, which means acetaldehyde is our kryptonite. It turns out acetaldehyde is really bad stuff, and not just because of what we feel when we drink. Acetaldehyde is a carcinogen, and when we drink, it causes damage to our proteins and DNA. Unfortunately, that means being more conscious of how often we drink, and how much to drink when we do, is a good idea.
This also means being aware of where else we find our microscopic enemy, acetaldehyde. Small concentrations can be found in many of places, even in common foods, but the other big ones we should be aware of are air pollution and cigarette smoke (this includes cannabis and smoke from other plants). Second-hand smoke is also a big one for anyone living with a smoker or is frequently around smokers. People with ALDH2 Deficiency are at an increased risk of some nasty health conditions and diseases later in life, but we can make some choices to seriously limit these risks.