You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The disturbing reason some people turn red when they drink alcohol

Mirror logo Mirror 10/07/2017 Joshua Barrie

© Getty When drinking alcohol, often in vast quantities, some people's faces go bright red. Noticed it?

And for many, it's not because they're embarrassed, hot, or sunburnt. It could well be a condition called 'alcohol flush reaction', and it's not a good news.

Alcohol isn't particularly beneficial to anyone on a medical level. There's evidence to suggest a glass of red wine of an evening is positive, a pint of beer post-exercise worthwhile.

Credits: E+ © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: E+ But by and large, the NHS advises against storming through too many double vodkas. Especially to those who suffer from alcohol flush reaction.

According to a Business Insider video, side effects can include skin colouration, nausea, headaches, and a rapid heartbeat. The cause is a build up of something called acetaldehyde. It's toxic and a carcinogen. 

When alcohol is consumed, our helpful livers convert the compounds into acetate, which is much safer. Those who suffer alcohol flush have bodies that are much slower at the preferable conversion. They have acetaldehyde lurking about for much longer.

These people are at higher risk of the bad effects of alcohol, both immediately and in later life. It's genetic – and is thought to have originated among the Han Chinese, in central China. It's spread across East Asia. About 1/3 people have it there.

There's no cure...

More from The Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon