47% of Taiwan’s poulation lacks alcohol-metabolizing gene

Want China Times
Date: 2015-08-13
By: Staff Reporter

Research shows around half of Taiwan’s population lacks an alcohol-metabolizing gene

Different varieties of wine. (Photo/Chen Chih-tung)

Different varieties of wine. (Photo/Chen Chih-tung)

called ALDH2, which increases their risk of cancer 50-fold when compared to those who have the gene, reports our Chinese-language sister paper China Times.

The percentage of people with ALDH2 Deficiency, also known as the “alcohol flush reaction,” in Taiwan is the highest in the world at 47%, said Che-Hong Chen, senior research scientist with Stanford University’s Mochly-Rosen Lab, during a seminar the university jointly held with Taipei Medical University on Tuesday.

The deficiency is common in ethnic Han Chinese people living in coastal areas. The percentage is 35% in China, 30% in Japan and 20% in South Korea. Taiwan’s indigenous people groups do not lack the gene.

People have been told by doctors that drinking one to two cups of red wine, or 14 grams of pure alcohol, a day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This suggestion, however, is valid for people of European descent, not for Asians lacking the ALDH2 gene, Chen said.     [FULL  STORY]

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