Asian flush

From time to time, I will be posting in a category I have creatively categorized as “learning” posts. Since you are using my blog for procrastinating, I decided to utilize your time with something marginally useful. In other words, for this post, I wanted to teach everyone something. Plus, memorize the biology and you can sound smart in order to use this in a pick-up technique.   

If you’ve ever been out with me, you’d recognize this before and after picture.

This picture illustrates the Asian Flush. It was taken in 2008, and it’s gotten better since Michigan, I promise. Sorry to disappoint (ROB AND DOUG, I AM LOOKING AT YOU), I am no longer a two-beer-queer.

Nor do I “turn purple after one beer.” .. Ok, ok, it wasn’t quite purple, it was a deep crimson. And it only happened once. But I had donated blood that afternoon!

For those of you non-Sherlock-Holmes-types, who can’t see the Asian Flush in those 2 pictures, my face turns pretty red if I have any hard liquor (I have noticed that this effect is not as prominent with beer). It’s a lot more noticeable in person. So, if you ever see me with a red face, you know that I have:

A) Drank a lot of beer and am hammered
B) Taking shots .. and will soon be hammered

This isn’t exclusive to me, and if you know any other Asians you’d have seen this (If you don’t know any other Asians, then you probably need to stop being racist). So I figured I’d explain this phenomena known as the Asian Flush in 2 ways:

1. Easy way: excess alcohol causes the very tiny blood vessels under your skin to expand. Since the blood is closer to the surface of your skin, you look redder. So why doesn’t this happen to white people? Well, most Asians have an inactive cell component. This means that they can’t break down alcohol properly. (as explained using peer review)

2. Smart way: the acetaldehyde byproduct from alcohol is not properly hydrolyzed because of a mutation in the acetaldehyde dehyrogenase, aka ALDH2, causing vasodilation and erythema.

So what is proper treatment? Well, one way is to not be pure-bred. Most of the halfies I’ve met have not been Asian Flush members. I have also heard contradicting colloquial evidence about proper planning: beer-before-liquor (won’t get sicker?) or liquor-before-beer (in the clear?).

There is another way which doesn’t involve going back in time or weird rhymes. Specifically, this involves training your body. This means repeated high-level drinking (for most people this method is also known as “college”). This forces your body to artificially increase the concentration of the enzyme because it’s required to break down the acetaldehyde from alcohol. However, having high levels of alcohol in your body at all times is not really the best idea, especially if you like being employed and also not a real alcoholic.

But sometimes alcohol can lead to excellent outfit decisions like this:

Note that B is white and thus does not have the Asian Flush.


Related links
Peer review explained – and why I hate it.
My life is like “28 days later” but less zombies
Katie G part 4: Blackout. The end.
I’m a Liebster Award winner – discover more blogs
Snowstorm Girls part 1 – The introduction
Snowstorm Girls part 5 – Exhaustion

6 thoughts on “Asian flush

  1. Pingback: The story of Hot Plane Chick (part 3) | heylookchris

  2. Pingback: Katie G part 4: Blackout. The end. « heylookchris

  3. Pingback: I’m a Liebster Award winner! | heylookchris

  4. Pingback: My life is like “28 Days Later” but less zombies | heylookchris

  5. Pingback: Snowstorm Girls part 1 – The introduction | heylookchris

  6. Pingback: Snowstorm Girls part 5 – Exhaustion | heylookchris

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