This is old yet important news, in fact it was back in 2009 when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) first acknowledged the clinical research of scientists from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) showing a link between alcohol flush reaction and various types of cancers. In a press release dated March 23 2009, the NIH broadcasted a chilling warning for anyone of Asian descent who experiences a red face after drinking alcohol.
In their press release they stated:
Many people of East Asian descent possess an enzyme deficiency that causes their skin to redden, or flush, when they drink alcohol. Scientists from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and Japan’s Kurihama Alcohol Center now caution that heavy alcohol consumption greatly increases the risk for esophageal cancer among such individuals, who comprise about 8 percent of the world’s population.
As you can see, the NIH is sending a clear warning to people with alcohol flush reaction that the chance of developing esophagael cancer “greatly increases” with “heavy alcohol consumption”.
So this begs the question: how much do you have to drink to greatly increase your cancer risk? The NIH clarifies this later in the release by stating:
A series of epidemiologic studies by Akira Yokoyama and his colleagues in Japan have shown that individuals with one copy of the inactive variant are about 6-10 times more likely to develop esophageal cancer than are individuals with the fully active ALDH2 enzyme who drink comparable amounts of alcohol. Notably, these studies showed that individuals with the inactive variant who drink the equivalent of 33 or more U.S. standard drinks per week have a 89-fold increased risk of esophageal cancer compared to non-drinkers.
This means that if you have alcohol flush reaction you are 6 to 10 times more likely to get esophagael cancer than someone without alcohol flush reaction who drinks the same amount of alcohol.
It also showed that people with alcohol flush reaction who drink 33 or more standard drinks a week are 89 times more likely to get esophagael cancer than non-drinkers.
This is solid science, recognised by a governmental health body, pointing directly to a link between alcohol flush reaction and esophagael cancer. If that’s not enough to raise a few eyebrows then perhaps we should all go back to smoking cigarettes and drinking coca cola, because the risks are comparable.
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