What is alcohol flush?

 If your face turns red after one alcoholic drink, you are not alone. This condition is known as "alcohol flush reaction" and it happens to almost one-third of the Asian population as well as many Caucasians. Most of the time, people experience flushing when their bodies cannot digest alcohol properly. 

Alcohol flush reaction is caused by the lack of an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2). Without ALDH2, your liver accumulates acetaldehyde when breaking down alcohol and it is a toxin which triggers an immune response that leads to the facial flushing. Many people who have alcohol flush reaction report not only getting a lobster-red face but also experience increased heart rate, increased body temperature and headache. All these uncomfortable feelings happen because your body is trying hard to get rid of the toxins, acetaldehyde.