Articles, Blog

Asian flush, explained

August 19, 2019


For most people, when they drink alcohol, it can
make them feel more confident and comfortable. But for me, drinking makes me feel less confident
and UNcomfortable. That’s because, thanks to my DNA, alcohol
makes my skin turn red. It’s called Asian flush, and it affects
about 36% percent of Northeast Asians, with higher rates among Asian Americans. I guess We should probably show you what it
looks like. [For Science. For Science.] [Are we slamming?] People tend to assume that a red face means that we’re
drunk but that’s a myth. These are completely separate processes. Facial flushing, whether from embarrassment,
exercise, or alcohol, happens when blood vessels under the surface of the skin dilate. In the case of Asian flush, this is part of
an immune response. The body is detecting a threat. The threat
isn’t the alcohol itself, but a substance that our livers produce while breaking down
alcohol. [For me at least, the warmth starts in my
chest and then moves its way up.] [My cheeks are warm, my ears are warm.] [It’s weird, it’s almost like my eyes
are almost puffy] When people drink ethanol – that’s the chemical
name for booze – the liver gets rid of it using two main enzymes. The first reacts with the ethanol molecule
to produce a substance called acetaldehyde. And the second quickly turns acetaldehyde
into acetate, which is similar to vinegar, and easy for the body to eliminate. It’s that second enzyme that really screws
things up for people with Asian flush. If you look inside our DNA, you’ll find
that the gene providing the instructions for that enzyme was tweaked at some point in our
history. And that gene mutation produces an inactive
enzyme. So when we drink our bodies accumulate acetaldehyde
at a level about 6 times higher than normal If acetaldehyde sounds familiar, that may
be because it’s similar to formaldehyde. It’s toxic. that’s why it triggers the immune
response. And the red face is really the least of it. After having that one beer, I didn’t feel tipsy
at all, but my heart rate doubled. My eyes were bloodshot, and within a half
hour, I had a headache. Even worse, acetaldehyde can cause cancer. It’s a problem because people actually can
develop a tolerance to Asian flush, and that allows them to drink pretty heavily. Studies have shown that heavy drinking raises
the risk of esophageal cancer for everyone, but especially for people with Asian flush. So it’s potentially problematic that alcohol
consumption in Asia has been increasing, especially in China. So if you have Asian flush, be careful – your
body is freaking out for a reason. And if you don’t flush, just don’t expect
us to keep up with you.

100 Comments

  • Reply judddah the budddah June 30, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    So, my mum has Asian flush even trough she's German…

  • Reply Shuuya Kano June 30, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    what do you mean asian?… I'm german with no asian relatives and I get that

  • Reply sangjeong kimcho July 1, 2019 at 1:21 am

    THERE ARE OBVIOUS MALMUTATIONS WHEN YOU LOOK AT SIMPLE BODY STRUCTURE AND BODY SHAPE I.E SIZE WIDTH OF HIPS, MUSCOSKELETAL DIFFERENCES AND YOU SEE IT WHEN SOCCER ROLLS AROUND YOU CAN TRAIN UP 3 BILLION OF THOSE chineseAND THEY WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO DO AS WELL ANYWAY-
    BUT THERE ARE ALSO OTHER THINGS THAT, UNLESS YOU STILL THINK 'RACE' AND NOT 'SPECIES' I.E 95% OR 99% OF orientals ARE LACTOSE INTOLERANT- YOU'D BE CONFUSED

  • Reply sangjeong kimcho July 1, 2019 at 1:25 am

    (CAN HEAR midgetmike AND hgdjamie SAY:) "TRUST ME WHEN shck ACCE[PTS illegalgrandjobbribe asianflush AND asianlactoseintolerance WILL DISAPPEAR TRUST ME"

  • Reply Charli B. July 2, 2019 at 1:48 am

    Oooo so that’s what happened to j-hope in that one vlive 🤔

  • Reply John Baines July 2, 2019 at 9:33 am

    This is racist.

  • Reply M4HESH July 2, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Indians : we don't do that here

  • Reply The Great Eldian Empire July 2, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    1 can of beer , my face and chest turns red.

  • Reply renato mu July 2, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    yup thats me…

  • Reply Arron Wells July 2, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    Literal poison who woulda thought

  • Reply visualedits July 4, 2019 at 10:00 am

    God I love being white.

  • Reply cassandra July 5, 2019 at 1:51 am

    Does anyone else call it the asian glow?

  • Reply Jonathan Izaac July 5, 2019 at 5:48 am

    Why do Asians always get the short end?? It's like biology is telling us discrimination is a natural thing

  • Reply The Kathleen Show July 5, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    whenever my dad wants to drink, i can just see his whole face turn red. My dad's Vietnamese that's why. it's kinda funny but when i think about it, i probably shouldn't laugh cause it's not his fault. just wanted to share that.

  • Reply Person July 5, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I'm Irish. I'm just red.

  • Reply When Grapes Pop July 5, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    I wouldn’t worry too much about it, I wouldn’t have noticed unless you made a video about it.

  • Reply shapes July 5, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    she so pretty 😦

  • Reply Anujin Anuka July 6, 2019 at 12:17 am

    2:15 she kinda looks like bella hadid

  • Reply Emerald Bludworth July 6, 2019 at 1:09 am

    This reminds me of J-Hope

  • Reply Anime Lover July 6, 2019 at 3:50 am

    Genghis khan gene

  • Reply Fat Cat July 6, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    Hoes mad

  • Reply Sherry Silva July 6, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    I just thought of Jhope drinking 😂

  • Reply Agung Perdana July 7, 2019 at 11:31 am

    it’s haraam

  • Reply Abilawa andamari July 8, 2019 at 6:39 am

    So that's why their face turns red everytime an anime character gets drunk. I thought it was just an artistic touch.

  • Reply dias July 8, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    i came here because of her beauty

  • Reply Blahblah KMK July 8, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    I thought this was about toilets 🚽 clogging in China

  • Reply 1swerdna July 8, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    I get this, but I’m black 🤷🏾‍♀️

  • Reply D S July 9, 2019 at 1:36 am

    I'm nearly 100% northwest Euro ancestry, and I too get the Asian flush.

  • Reply Vijay Iyer VJ July 9, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Glad this doesn't affect everyone..

  • Reply IAm Remarc Saceda July 10, 2019 at 12:52 am

    Im Filipino and i never experienced redness or asian flush something, the only thing i noticed every time I’m dunk is that my lips is numb don’t know why is that?

  • Reply Brianna Rose July 10, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    I’m European and this happens to me too

  • Reply T A July 10, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Yo I had a Chinese Roommate (Loved her, miss her) and she came home drunk one-day bright red! I assumed it was normal cause her boyfriend wasn't freaking out but this was so informative

  • Reply kim July 11, 2019 at 7:36 am

    Sin Alcol

  • Reply Is partisan zeal? July 11, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Normal People: Asian Flush
    Narcissistic People: Drunk Blush

  • Reply Ginta Makmak July 11, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    oh that why when i just drink 1 bottle thank you for information

  • Reply بايت - BITE July 11, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Gosh, thanks Islam disallowed Alcohol.

  • Reply Coco Poco July 11, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Thank god I don’t have Asian flush.. 😂😂😂😂

  • Reply ZuTu July 12, 2019 at 7:39 am

    I drink fanta, and my lips turn red

  • Reply Konstantin Pakhomov July 12, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Pink is more attractive than yellow

  • Reply Simon Au July 12, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Yup happens to me every time i 🍹i get red and uncomfortable. I never under why people like to drink

  • Reply Young Suit July 13, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    I get this but my drinking is in control so I always just ignored it

  • Reply Morahman7vnNo2 July 13, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    So THATS why someone is always flushing while they're tipsy in Asiain Animation.

  • Reply Skull360 July 13, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Dont whites also turn red when they get drunk?

  • Reply Minion king Aleks July 15, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    So Vox are you admitting that races are different and can be different genetically? Because that’s what you’re literally implying

  • Reply Minion king Aleks July 15, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    The comments seem to determine that half white and half Asian people are the most beautiful 😂

  • Reply Mixxmee xo July 15, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    That's why there's not alot of asians who are alcoholics lol

  • Reply Ayesp July 16, 2019 at 1:48 am

    I'm black and when I don't drink my skin turns black and when I do it turns black 🤯🤯🤯

  • Reply Kevin Len July 16, 2019 at 2:50 am

    Hashtag Asians for life. XD.

  • Reply RP*46 July 16, 2019 at 7:46 am

    UGH, I FALL IN LOVE WITH JOSS! SHE IS SOOOOO BEAUTIFUL!

  • Reply the guy July 16, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    I learned about adh from cells at work dark.

  • Reply 1203927 July 17, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    laughs in Filipino

  • Reply Silvia Tapia July 17, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    I get Asian flush when I drink too and I’m not even Asian 😂🥺

  • Reply Deë Enomar July 18, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Motherfuckn wight supremacy!!

  • Reply Adult Ser July 18, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Asian glow

  • Reply Hadouken Hadouken July 18, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    My azn fetish (ladies) just went Super Nova!

    – Hadouken!

  • Reply Steam Boar July 19, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    i hate when i know this from anime

  • Reply Anthony8851 July 19, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    0:25 Excuse me?

  • Reply woll July 21, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    For science!

    Haha

  • Reply Gülay Basri July 22, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Me and my mom have the the asian flush. We, however are not really asian. We are from the bulgaria/turkey area and are a part of a turkic group. idk

  • Reply Trojan D July 23, 2019 at 8:44 am

    I'm native American (navajo) full. I get it. Is it the same reason?

  • Reply м σ м σ я ι η g July 23, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    I Read It As
    ‘Asian Flesh’

  • Reply space lapis July 24, 2019 at 5:23 am

    Hmm Fresh off the boat

  • Reply T. R. July 24, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    i'm white (northern european, specifically) and most people in my family are unfortunately heavy drinkers, yet i personally don't drink because i get flushed and uncomfortable. i'm wondering if i have this gene too. hmm

  • Reply KNK K'n'k July 26, 2019 at 9:40 am

    i get red SO EASILY from sports

  • Reply Defne K July 27, 2019 at 6:07 am

    We're not asian but it happens for me and my dad too. I have less of it when compared to him (he goes full red), but I remember having ears so red and hot that I had to stop drinking just to cool down my ears because they would hurt so much.

  • Reply J. Mc. July 27, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Sounds racist

  • Reply Ferdhaus Ismail July 28, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Who else is muslim and cant relate 😂😂😂

  • Reply Bành Tỏn Tẹt July 29, 2019 at 5:41 am

    Wait, other races dont flush ?

  • Reply moneymo _35 July 29, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    They make it sound embarrassing grow up it doesn't look that bad

  • Reply Eveable July 30, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    I’m half asian but I’m also half Hispanic so like thank god.

  • Reply Zahrial Fachri July 31, 2019 at 11:48 am

    I was tought how asian flush their toilet…

  • Reply Copperheid July 31, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    I'm white and Scottish, but I also have these symptoms when I drink. Fascinating

  • Reply James Fischer August 1, 2019 at 4:02 am

    I'm sure glad for my Irish, Scottish and Russian genes, I can binge drink anytime anywhere.

  • Reply illegal Lemur August 1, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    That explanation was so well done. Hopped into chemistry, DNA, and health and I got it all in one quick ball of info

  • Reply GG2K7AU05 August 1, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    2:56 to the people who say Joss is pretty.

  • Reply Renz Melgar August 2, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    So this explains why my face turns red everytime i drink alcohol.

  • Reply Trish Alvarez August 3, 2019 at 8:13 am

    Happens to me even if I just have a sip

  • Reply Noah I. August 4, 2019 at 4:35 am

    This aint as bad as sugar.

  • Reply International Harvester August 4, 2019 at 5:19 am

    You obviously haven't tried the right 🍺 beer😏.

  • Reply Ying Chiu Luk August 4, 2019 at 6:52 am

    My face turn red fast after drink small amount of alcohol, and if I drink more, I sometime sleep and feel better after I wake up.

  • Reply Sheikh Abou August 4, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    you can't see that flush on Asian women cause they're painted in make up but you can see it on Asian guys.

  • Reply Yᴏsʜɪ_Dɪɴᴏ_Kɪᴅᴅᴏ August 5, 2019 at 1:38 am

    Nancy!

  • Reply TransistorSnack August 5, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    markiplier brought me here

  • Reply Ian Spencer August 5, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    I’m Asian and still is completely false

  • Reply BADWORDS August 6, 2019 at 2:36 am

    You know what? you are so pretty (host) that i can’t concentrate of what you’re saying.

  • Reply BTHEKICKER August 6, 2019 at 7:58 am

    Um u forgot about filipinos…

  • Reply ImInTheWittyCommittee August 7, 2019 at 9:20 am

    You should put my dad on this show. He would of exploded

  • Reply GYRENROCKZ August 8, 2019 at 5:38 am

    well i thought i was alergic to alcohol.. now this explains alot..

  • Reply Albert Tennedy August 8, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Whoa, This is pretty accurate for me as Asian Chinese.

  • Reply Sabrina Mitchell August 8, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Im not Asian in descent as far as I know, and I never noticed if I get red while drinking but I do notice that even a beer causes my heartrate to increase alot and I get a bad headache, so Im not a big drinker. I wonder why that is , maybe just a genetic oddity

  • Reply ととまる August 9, 2019 at 10:41 am

    not until I watched this video I'd thought that all people turn red after they drink.. it's interesting.

  • Reply Carlos M August 10, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Interesting.

  • Reply your captain in this ship August 11, 2019 at 7:08 am

    ohmygod. i thought i was just alcohol intolerant

  • Reply Marian Danut Ursu August 12, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    i get the same symptoms… but from chocolate/cocoa (i'm european btw)

  • Reply derkhaslol August 12, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    2:15 Suddenly the Asian is gone. Makes me wonder if we in Europe are drunk all the time haha.

  • Reply Trolololol August 13, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    i have yellow fever

  • Reply ocularisabyssus August 14, 2019 at 4:52 am

    Came here to fap to Joss. Not gonna lie.

  • Reply Christian Dela Pena August 14, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Joss marry me please.

  • Reply Squanchmaster Squanch August 18, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Tell me something i dont know

  • Reply Los Niner August 18, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Omg… that's why I don't like drinking. My great-great-grandmother was Asian. Everybody I know loves drinking, I don't I stick to the weed😉😁💚

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