Unveiling the Enigma: Why Are Some Asians Allergic to Alcohol? - Ando Gummy

Are Asians Allergic to Alcohol?

Key Takeaways

  1. Asian glow is not an allergy, it’s a genetic enzyme deficiency.
  2. There are ways to manage symptoms, but be mindful of long-term health implications.
  3. The red flush associated with drinking isn't exclusive to Asians, although it is more prevalent in this group.

When it comes to drinking alcohol, not everyone reacts the same way. A phenomenon commonly known as "Asian flush", “alcohol flushing”, “flushing syndrome”, “alcohol intolerance”, and “Asian glow”, often leads to the belief that Asians may be allergic to alcohol. This article explores the biological underpinnings of this reaction and how it affects individuals of Asian descent.

Understanding Alcohol Flushing Syndrome

Alcohol flushing syndrome, often referred to as the "Asian flush," is a condition characterized by redness of the face and other areas of the body after consuming alcohol. This reaction is particularly prevalent among East Asians, including people of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean descent. The primary cause of this reaction is an inherited deficiency in the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2).

ALDH2 plays an essential role in breaking down acetaldehyde, a byproduct of alcohol metabolism. In individuals with ALDH2 deficiency, acetaldehyde accumulates in the body, leading to the flushing reaction. Symptoms can include redness, nausea, headache, and an increased heartbeat.

Is It an Allergy?

The term "allergy" might be a misnomer when discussing the Asian flush. An allergy involves an immune response to a harmless substance, but the reaction to alcohol, in this case, is due to a genetic enzyme deficiency, not an immune reaction. Therefore, it's more accurate to describe this condition as a genetic intolerance to alcohol rather than an allergy.

How To Prevent Asian Glow

For those who experience discomfort due to alcohol flushing, there are ways to manage Asian glow symptoms. Some products aim to support a healthy glow while drinking. 

One of these supplements is Ando, a gummy containing ingredients like Dihydromyricetin, which supports your body's ability to break down Acetaldehyde. Lifestyle adjustments, such as limiting alcohol intake or choosing beverages with lower alcohol content, can also help maintain a healthy complexion.

Health Implications of the Asian Flush

While the immediate effects of Asian flush are often just uncomfortable, there are longer-term health risks associated with ALDH2 deficiency. Individuals with this condition have a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer if they consume alcohol regularly. This risk is significantly elevated compared to those without the deficiency.

Why Does Your Face Turn Red When You Drink?

The red flush associated with drinking isn't exclusive to Asians, although it is more prevalent in this group. The reaction varies widely among individuals depending on genetic factors. It's important to understand your body's response to alcohol, which can serve as a valuable indicator of your tolerance and potential health risks.


The phenomenon of alcohol-related flushing, often misinterpreted as an allergy, is a complex interplay of genetics and metabolism. While not all Asians experience this reaction, those who do should be aware of the potential health implications. By understanding the underlying causes and taking appropriate precautions, individuals can enjoy a safer drinking experience.

This exploration into alcohol flushing syndrome also highlights the importance of genetic factors in how our bodies react to substances like alcohol. For more insights into alcohol-related reactions and health tips, consider exploring the related articles linked throughout this discussion.

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