Date

4-28-2020

Description

Alcohol is one of the oldest beverages in the world. There are certain genes are responsible for the breakdown of alcohol within the body in a healthy manner. A mutation to these very specific genes results in individuals being more sensitive to the negative effects of alcohol. The main symptom is becoming very red and flushed and is often accompanied with nausea and headaches. These combinations of symptoms are considered the alcohol flush reaction, and colloquially known as the Asian Glow. It is a common occurrence within East Asian populations to experience, with approximately 30% of the world's population affected being of East Asian descent, alcohol flush reaction. Determining why East Asians are particularly susceptible to this condition required looking at the earliest types of alcoholic beverages in the region. Mead, thought to be the forefather of modern alcohol, is believed to be of Chinese origin, and made from fermenting water, honey, and yeast, much of which came off the fungus living on wild grains. Beginning as early as 12,000 years ago, the widespread cultivation of grain, and the subsequent creation of different alcohols, is the evolutionary event responsible for the prevalence of specific gene variants responsible for high concentrations of people afflicted with the alcohol flush reaction among East Asians.

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Apr 28th, 12:00 AM

Alcohol in Asia: How Grain Cultivation Lead to the Asian Glow

Alcohol is one of the oldest beverages in the world. There are certain genes are responsible for the breakdown of alcohol within the body in a healthy manner. A mutation to these very specific genes results in individuals being more sensitive to the negative effects of alcohol. The main symptom is becoming very red and flushed and is often accompanied with nausea and headaches. These combinations of symptoms are considered the alcohol flush reaction, and colloquially known as the Asian Glow. It is a common occurrence within East Asian populations to experience, with approximately 30% of the world's population affected being of East Asian descent, alcohol flush reaction. Determining why East Asians are particularly susceptible to this condition required looking at the earliest types of alcoholic beverages in the region. Mead, thought to be the forefather of modern alcohol, is believed to be of Chinese origin, and made from fermenting water, honey, and yeast, much of which came off the fungus living on wild grains. Beginning as early as 12,000 years ago, the widespread cultivation of grain, and the subsequent creation of different alcohols, is the evolutionary event responsible for the prevalence of specific gene variants responsible for high concentrations of people afflicted with the alcohol flush reaction among East Asians.