If your face flushes and gets red when you drink then you might have more of a problem than rosy cheeks.
A news story by the BBC is warning about a small part of the population [about 8%] that is at a greater risk of developing throat [they call it gullet over there] cancer. This subset appears to be missing an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2).
No ezyme=red face.
The link between the enzyme deficiency and the red cheeks isn’t a new discovery. However the link between the screwed-up enzyme and the higher risk of cancer [6-10 times greater!] weren’t appreciated until now.
Most of the people who are lacking this enzyme are of East Asian decent and the thing that’s really beneficial about this study is that it gives the researchers some fuel to help educate drinkers of the risks associated with heavy drinking.
[Dr Philip Brooks and his team] found individuals with one copy of the inactive gene causing ALDH2-deficiency were 6-10 times more likely to develop oesophageal cancer than individuals with the fully active ALDH2 enzyme who drank comparable amounts of alcohol.
They said if moderate or heavy drinking people with this deficiency were to become light drinkers instead, 53% of oesophageal cancers might be prevented among Japanese men.
So, the moral of the story is that if you look like Santa after a few beer [the cheeks, not the belly] then you might want to talk to your doctor about your risks.