If you’re from East or Southeast Asia, you’re probably familiar with the alcoholic reaction known as the “Asian glow.” later One or two drinksYour face and body will be redder than a sun-dried tomato and people will be asking if you’re sunburned at the bar or party that night.

The drip reaction is the result of a genetic predisposition. Specifically, it is an inherited defect with an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2). This genetic variant itself is called ALDH2*2 and is damaging. Approximately 8 percent of the world’s population.

Although the radiation is often an embarrassing phenomenon that can happen at night, more and more researchers are discovering that it can have life-threatening effects on the human body. Stanford scientists He published a paper on January 25 In the magazine Scientific translation of medicine It found that people with the gene variant have an increased risk of heart disease. The findings suggest that people with alter egos may want to reconsider their drinking habits.

Specifically, the variable causes blood vessel inflammation in response to alcohol consumption. This restricts blood flow throughout the body and can lead to coronary artery disease.

“We found that mice carrying this variant had impaired coronary artery dilation,” Joseph Wu, director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and co-author of the study, told The Daily Beast in an email. “When treated with alcohol, these mice showed increased blood vessel volume, increased blood vessel thickness, and impaired blood vessel contraction and relaxation.”

The authors found that people who participated in the new study and had ALDH2*2 suffered from impaired vascular function — even after drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, or “one regular drink,” Wu said. This means that any amount of alcohol can be dangerous for people with diabetes—especially if you have a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

However, there was a glimmer of hope. The researchers found that the diabetes drug empagliflozin appeared to affect the signals in cultured human cells. It also improved blood vessel function in rats. Because of its variability, the drug may be able to help people who are prone to heart disease.

But Wu cautioned that the drug “does not directly stimulate ALDH2 activity.” So, it won’t dim your light if you have it. “However, our studies show that empagliflozin may be a preventive measure against vascular disease, especially in heavy drinkers such as ALDH2*2 carriers,” they said.

This only adds to the evidence that drinking alcohol can be traumatic for people with alcohol-related disorders. Not only studies that can Damage your DNABut it also includes yours Cancer risk. Drinking in general is terrible for you—especially if it’s bright.

So, in the meantime, it’s important to remember the line from all those beer commercials and drink responsibly—especially if you’re lighting it up like beet red when you knock back a few. Heck, maybe cutting it out entirely is a better idea. Of course, this is easier said than done.

“We understand that it’s very difficult for people to completely give up alcohol for a variety of reasons,” Wu said. “Therefore, we encourage people with this disparity to recognize the strong scientific findings that point to the harmful effects of alcohol and to reduce alcohol consumption as much as possible.”

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