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Thread: Alcohol flushing may be linked to possible cancer risk

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default Alcohol flushing may be linked to possible cancer risk

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...a-as031909.php

    Says it applies to East Asians but surely this applies to all people who suffer an "alcohol flush"

    Also interesting about the lack of an enzyme which causes the flush.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    1,102

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    Do not worry, Jamie. The faulty enzyme is the root of this problem and, provided you are Caucasian, you should be fine.

    Alcohol flushing in rosaceans is caused by something else altogether. (The final excerpt suggests a possible reason. Others have been suggested.)




    Dr. Brooks and his colleagues explain that ALDH2 plays an important role in alcohol metabolism. When alcohol is consumed, it is first metabolized into acetaldehyde, a chemical similar to formaldehyde, which causes DNA damage and has other cancer-promoting effects. ALDH2 is the main enzyme responsible for breaking down acetaldehyde into acetate, a non-toxic metabolite in the body.
    East Asians have two main variants of the ALDH2 gene -- one that produces an enzyme with normal activity, and another that results in an inactive enzyme. When individuals with the inactive variant drink alcohol, acetaldehyde accumulates in the body, resulting in facial flushing, nausea, and rapid heartbeat. For people with two copies of the inactive variant, these symptoms are so severe that they can drink very little alcohol. However, individuals with only one copy of the inactive variant can become tolerant to the unpleasant effects of acetaldehyde, which puts them at risk for alcohol-related esophageal cancer.
    IDENTIFICATION AND CHARACTERISATION OF ALCOHOL-INDUCED FLUSHING IN CAUCASIAN SUBJECTS

    ROBERTA J. WARD*, ANDREW J. S. MCPHERSON*, CARL CHOW*, JOHN EALING*, DAVID I. N. SHERMAN*, A. YOSHIDA and TIMOTHY J. PETERS*

    *Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Kings College School of Medicine and Dentistry London SE5 9JP, U.K
    Department of Biochemical Genetics, Beckman Institute Duarte, California, U.S.A.
    Received 21 July 1993; first review notified 26 November 1993; accepted 3 December 1993 The prevalence of the alcohol-flushing reaction was assessed in a group of healthy Caucasian medical students (200) by self-reporting and was found to occur in approximately 50% of female and 8% of male subjects. In most of the alcohol flushers there were other family members similarly affected. The presence of this side-effect after a small quantity of alcohol did not necessarily decrease the amount of alcohol consumed. A test dose of ethanol (0.4 g/kg body weight) confirmed the presence of the alcohol-induced flushing, which was of much shorter duration and intensity than that of the Oriental alcohol-induced flusher, as measured by laser Doppler velocimetsy, and was not associated with high circulating concentrations of acetaldehyde. Topical administration of 5 M acetaldehyde showed an enhanced erythema in Caucasian flushers compared to non-flushing controls. This effect was not observed with topical ethanol. Low erythrocyte ALDH1 activity was found in all Caucasians (n = 30) who showed the alcohol-induced flushing reaction.
    We evaluated the roles of endogenous opioid peptides and histamine in the pathophysiology of alcohol-induced facial flushing in rosacea. Non-diabetic patients with rosacea ingested 360 ml of 6% ethanol after receiving either subcutaneous naloxone hydrochloride or oral chloropheniramine maleate. Only pretreatment with naloxone blocked the alcohol-induced rosacea flushing (AIRF), suggesting an active role of endogenous enkephalin and/or endorphin in this vascular reactivity. In this respect, AIRF is similar to chlorpropamide alcohol flushing and menopausal flushing
    .

    Hope you are recovering nicely.

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