Even Small Amounts of Alcohol Can Be Dangerous for 40% of Koreans

  • Arirang News

    December 16, 2015 10:48

    Consuming even small amounts of alcohol is dangerous for four out of ten Koreans, a report points out.

    Some 40 percent of people of East Asian descent, including Koreans, experience flushed cheeks, nausea or drowsiness after drinking alcohol, according to Kang Bo-seung, an emergency medicine professor at Hanyang University Guri Hospital.

    That is because many Asians have an inactive variant of the enzyme that is normally responsible for breaking down alcohol.

    People with the enzyme deficiency who drink put themselves at risk for a heart attack or a blood clot in the brain, so they should avoid alcohol completely.

    Kang's report was published in the U.S. Journal of Neurology and refutes an earlier study where a team of neurologists at Seoul National University Hospital in Bundang said drinking three to four shots of soju reduces the risk of stroke for men by around 50 percent.

    Kang claimed that the study overlooked the genetic difference between Westerners and East Asians in the body's ability to break down alcohol.

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