SCIENTISTS ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK THAT A DIET HIGH IN SOY BEANS AND HIGH IN SOY SAUCE MAY REDUCE FERTILITY IN MEN, WHICH FINALLY EXPLAINS CHINA’S DREADFULLY LOW POPULATION…

Posted on August 1, 2008

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i don’t drink alcohol. perhaps it’s b/c i’m predisposed to alcoholism and i know firsthand what alcoholism does to a family. or maybe it’s b/c despite trying it all as a young adult, i just never developed a tolerance for it (or the taste). moreso, i’m kind of allergic to it – i turn bright red, get a headache and end up passed out before last call – after only half a glass of wine, sometimes even less. in fact, i haven’t had a drink in over a year, aside from a few sips of a margarita at a friend’s graduation party a couple of months ago.

i had an interesting conversation with a co-worker about my lack of alcohol consumption, after which she sent me the following…

is there such a thing as alcohol allergy?
(answered by dr. james li, md of the mayo clinic)

some people are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol than are others. however, this doesn’t mean you have an alcohol allergy.

a true food allergy involves your immune system. in such cases, your immune system mistakenly identifies a specific food or a component of that food as a harmful substance. your immune system triggers certain cells to produce immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to fight the “enemy” food or food component. signs and symptoms of food allergy include tingling in the mouth, hives, breathing difficulties, and swelling of your lips, tongue or throat.

an alcohol allergy would be very uncommon. however, you could be allergic to other ingredients in an alcoholic beverage, such as wheat or sulfur dioxide, a preservative. there are also substances in some alcohol beverages such as wine that can cause flushing or even rashes.

still, it’s more likely that you have an alcohol intolerance — which means you are more sensitive to the normal effects of alcohol. alcohol can cause a variety of immediate adverse effects on the body, including headache, rapid heartbeat, nausea or vomiting, heartburn, abdominal pain, nasal congestion, or warm, red, itchy skin.

many people of asian descent experience an unusual flushing reaction after drinking alcohol — even in very small amounts. this is caused by a genetic disorder in which the body is unable to break down alcohol completely. some research suggests that people who experience alcohol flush reaction may be at increased risk of alcohol-related conditions, such as cancer of the esophagus and liver disease.

the only solution to all of these problems is to avoid alcohol.

so apparently, not only are asians more susceptible to alcohol intolerance, they are also commonly lactose intolerant. so that’s that. lucky me – i get to be both.

anyone for some soy milk or a virgin pina colada?

** post title = conan o’brien

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