A Closer Look at Asian Flush Cures

This post takes a closer look at Asian flush cures and aims to differentiate between the good ones and those not worthy of your time or money. Why you ask?

Because this disorder affects nearly 50% of Asian people worldwide.  What we know is that a trend is fast emerging where people are because increasingly less tolerant of the embarrassing side effects of Asian flush and Asian glow and are happy to invest a small amount of money to never have to think about their alcohol related problems ever again.

As mentioned above, not all sufferers are Asian!  That’s right, you can have Asian flush and not even be Asian at all.  As funny as this sounds, the number of non-Asians seeking alcohol flush related cures has increased exponentially over the past years, hence the new less race specific definition of the disorder: alcohol flush reaction.

Basically, it seems that the consumption of alcohol is and forever will be an important part of our social and professional lives. Asian and non-Asian sufferers can now breath a sigh of relief because there are products available that can be used to treat the symptoms of Asian flush extremely effectively. So what are the best solutions?

Pepcid AC, Zantac and other Antacids are NOT cures for Asian Flush

A simple search on the internet will reveal countless websites and forums talking about the use of Pepcid AC, Zantac and other stomach antacid medications as a cure for alcohol flush reaction. Before we go any further, it is very important that we clarify that these are pharmaceuticals and whether it be for an upset stomach or otherwise people should visit their doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications for any purpose whether that be to treat Asian flush and alcohol flush reaction or otherwise.

So back to the point, are Pepcid AC and Zantac considered 100% reliable cures for Asian flush and alcohol flush reaction? NO. They absolutely are not.

According to various anecdotal accounts on the use of Pepcid AC and Zantac as a cure for Asian flush and alcohol flush reaction, it seems that H2 blockers (like Pepcid AC and Zantac) may operate to aid in the alcohol breakdown process because of their antihistamine properties.

The consumption of alcohol is generally known to irritate the lining of the stomach and in turn facilitate an increase in production of gastric acid. With this in mind, we can see then how antacids can aid the alcohol breakdown process as they reduce gastric acid production in the stomach and also play a role in inhibiting alcohol dehydrogenase, thus slowing down the metabolism of alcohol to acetaldehyde and enabling the deficient enzyme to metabolize toxic acetaldehyde to non-toxic vinegar.

PHEW! Ok let us get out breath…

So what does that mean?

It means that Pepcid and Zantac only go half way, if that, in curing the symptoms of Asian flush.  A more detailed and considered remedy is needed in order to fully combat the unflattering and embarrassing symptoms of this disorder.

From a recent survey of various anecdotal accounts of using Pepcid AC and Zantac as a remedy for Asian Flush, it seems that the results were quite negative. Some of the subjects reported experiencing only a very slightly reduced facial flushing, and many other people reported no change whatsoever from their normal degree of facial flushing.

What is the Real Remedy?

A genuine cure is one that acknowledges the biology behind why people experience a red face after drinking alcohol,  and also the chemistry of foods and other substances that may aid in totally eliminating the Asian flush reaction all together. It is simple science.


The Biology

We experience a red face after we drink alcohol. This is because the symptoms experienced by Asian flush sufferers arise as a result of the body’s inability to sufficiently break-down alcohol.  The reason behind why Asian flush sufferers have trouble breaking down alcohol is an inactive enzyme called ‘aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2)’.  It is this enzyme that is normally responsible for breaking down ‘acetaldehyde’, which is a toxic byproduct produced when the body breaks down alcohol.  As result of the body not being able to properly break it down the acetaldehyde, the toxin builds up and causes a variety of reactions like headaches, nausea, itching, hives and most commonly, an unflattering red swollen face.


The Chemistry

A meaningful solution is one that addresses the unpleasant symptoms of Asian flush from their cause all the way to the treatment of the actual symptoms themselves.  This full circle approach is what the mere use of Pepcid AC and Zantac neglects, and this is why people nearly always continue to experience very unpleasant symptoms even after using Pepcid AC and Zantac. They neglect to consider the obvious fact: we need to stop the build-up of acetaldehyde in order to stop our alcohol flush reaction.


The Real Solution

If you want to find out more about a meaningful solution to this annoying problem please check out our article about How I Cured My Asian Glow.  We sincerely wish you the best of luck on your journey to finding a solution that is right for you.

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