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What Causes Asian Flush & Glow: The Science Behind Red Face & How To Cure It

alcohol red face science

We've received a lot of emails from long-term customers thanking us for creating Sunset and putting an end to their alcohol red face problem. Many of them were also curious as to how it actually works. This is why we thought it might be useful to explain the scientific basis of Sunset Alcohol Flush Support and how it stops a red face from alcohol.

All of the ingredients we pack into the Sunset capsules each provide an important standalone function to help your body fight the flush provoking toxins from alcohol. In addition to this, many of the ingredients also amplify the effectiveness of others and in turn raise the efficacy of the formula as a whole.

The key to this effectiveness, and what sets Sunset apart from other alcohol flushing supplements, is the precise balancing of complimentary compounds to provide 3 important levels of alcohol flushing defence.

The first level of Sunset’s flush fighting arsenal works to aid the body’s natural defences against the metabolic toxins that cause your alcohol red face.

The second level provides a robust anti-histamine defence to ensure the small amount of toxins that slip through don’t cause the blood vessels in your face to react and turn red.

Finally, and most importantly, the compounds necessary for the first two layers of defence to work need to be protected against being depleted by the alcohol you consume. This requires a third and final layer of defence to counteract alcohol-induced depletion of the body’s flush-fighting compounds and ensure optimal performance of the formula as a whole.

First layer of alcohol red face defence: Supporting the ALDH2 liver enzyme.

As we explained in our detailed article about Asian flush, the reason you get a red face after a few drinks is because your body is having a toxic reaction to a metabolic by-product of alcohol called acetaldehyde. This is normally broken down in the liver, but a genetic deficiency in the liver enzyme ALDH2 can cause this toxin to pass through the liver and provoke a variety of symptoms like your embarrassing red face.

With this in mind, our first goal was to find a way to assist this deficient liver enzyme to ensure these toxins don’t make it past your liver.

After countless rounds of trialling and testing we found that the human body had everything it needed to fight off these flush causing toxins, all we had to do was give it a bit of a kickstart.

NAC supplementation can help a deficient ALDH2 enzyme and alleviate alcohol induced facial redness.

When it comes to breaking down acetaldehyde most people just rely on their liver’s ALDH2 enzymes to do all the work. But if you suffer from alcohol flush reaction, your ALDH2 enzymes are lacking and you’re going to need some additional support.

Luckily, the human body naturally produces a substance that supports the ALDH2 enzyme called glutathione, one of the most powerful anti-oxidants known to man. Unfortunately, however, it turns out that it is very difficult to supplement your body with glutathione directly.

As concluded in a 1992 study examining the effectiveness of taking glutathione orally:

“Because of hydrolysis of glutathione by intestinal and hepatic gamma-glutamyltransferase, dietary glutathione is not a major determinant of circulating glutathione, and it is not possible to increase circulating glutathione to a clinically beneficial extent by the oral administration of a single dose of 3 g of glutathione.”

The study basically found that you could not take glutathione supplements and expect you body’s glutathione levels to increase - you have to do it some other way.

Another way to increase your body’s glutathione levels is by helping it to produce it by itself. The body actually produces glutathione naturally and simply requires the right quantities of certain compounds to do so.  

One such compound is NAC, which is an amino acid required for the natural synthesis of glutathione directly in our cells - which is where glutathione is most needed and produced by the body itself.

It should also be noted that NAC is usually the limiting factor in the production of glutathione because of its shortages in many people’s diets. It is present in many fruits, vegetables, meats and eggs, but it gets destroyed by cooking and rarely makes it through the digestive tract.

Therefore, NAC supplementation is a great way to increase your body’s natural glutathione levels before consuming alcohol. This will provide much needed support to your ALDH2 enzyme and help reduce the severity of an alcohol red face.

Another great benefit of NAC is that it has been shown to bind directly to acetaldehyde - the main culprit behind alcohol flushing. In a 1995 study scientists demonstrated the ability of NAC supplementation to significantly reduce blood acetaldehyde associated with alcohol.

“ N-acetyl cysteine, an analogue of the dietary amino acid cysteine, binds acetaldehyde, thus preventing its damaging effect… “

This indicates that NAC can support the ALDH2 liver enzyme, first by increasing glutathione synthesis in the body, and second by binding to the acetaldehyde created by alcohol metabolism and reducing the load of flush causing toxins in the liver.

Thiamine also controls the accumulation of toxins that cause a red face from alcohol and aids the function of NAC.

Thiamine is contained in many foods at low concentrations, with yeast and pork containing the highest concentrations. It is also contained in the outer layers of unrefined grains and cereals, but often removed during industrial processing.

Thiamine has been consistently linked by many studies to the proper metabolism of alcohol and its deficiency can cause additional stress on the liver’s ALDH2 enzyme.

Our testing indicated consistent positive results from ensuring that subjects were not deficient in thiamine before consuming alcohol. Hence, supplementation of thiamine is seen as aiding the ALDH2 enzyme by eliminating the stress caused by its deficiency, whilst at the same time accounting for the variability in different people's thiamine levels prior to alcohol consumption.

In addition to accounting for pre-drink deficiencies, recent studies have also suggested that thiamine works synergistically with NAC in preventing acetaldehyde toxicity. Therefore, by turbo charging the function of NAC, thiamine supplementation can provide much needed support to the ALDH2 enzyme and in turn help to reduce the severity of a red face from alcohol.

Second layer of alcohol red face defence: Natural anti-histamines that rival Pepcid AC and Zantac.

There are many supplements on the market claiming to stop a red face from alcohol, yet and most of these products are comprised of only the first layer of defence discussed above.

In our testing we found this to be insufficient to completely stop an alcohol red face. This is because, depending on how much alcohol you consume, there will always be some toxins that slip through the liver and into your blood stream.

When this happens the body releases histamines that cause your body to react in various ways, i.e. facial and upper body redness, difficulty breathing, headache, nausea, dizziness, etc.

Many people use over the counter pharmaceutical anti-histamines such as Pepcid AC and Zantac to control this reaction but are unaware of the dangerous side effects these medications can cause when taken with alcohol.

Many sources indicate reports of unpleasant side effects from taking Pepcid AC and Zantac such as headaches, dizziness, constipation and diarrhoea. They also note more severe side effects such as heart rhythm problems, jaundice and liver enzyme abnormalities. Furthermore, when taken with alcohol, these pharmaceutical anti-histamines have been shown to cause serious stomach issues.

This is why it is much safer and more effective to use natural antihistamines to clean up the toxins that slip through the first layer of defence.

Quercetin is natures answer to Pepcid

sources of quercetin

Many studies have demonstrated the potent anti-histamine and anti-oxidant properties of quercetin.

Found in varying quantities in fruits, vegetables, leaves and grains, quercetin can be obtained as a concentrated flavanol for supplementation. Furthermore, unlike pharmaceutical antihistamines like Pepcid AC and Zantac, there is little evidence to suggest any danger in taking quercetin before consuming alcohol.

This makes quercetin our preferred natural anti-histamine for protecting the body against the inevitable release of histamines that happens when toxins slip through the first layer of defence. The more histamine protection you have the less likely it will be that you experience an alcohol red face.

Bromelaine is quercetin’s turbo charger

sources of bromelaine

Bromelain is a protein extract taken from the stems of pineapples and commonly used as a natural anti-inflammatory.

Researchers at the Institute for Male Urology, in Los Angeles, conducted a study looking at the therapeutic effect of quercetin for patients with prostatitis. Relevant to us was their finding that bromelain helped increase the absorbtion of quercetin and improved results by over 300%.

By increasing the absorption of quercetin, bromelain acts as a turbo charger for its antihistamine properties and helps ensure a robust second level of defence against a red face from alcohol.

Sunset contains this potent anti-histamine and anti-inflamatory combination of Quercetin and Bromelaine, balanced precisely to work in tight synergy to prevent histamines in your body from causing an alcohol red face reaction.

Third layer of alcohol red face defence: Stopping the alcohol-induced depletion of vital ingredients.

The catch 22 is that many of the compounds necessary to stop a red face from alcohol are actually depleted by alcohol itself. This means that most of the alcohol flushing products you buy will be rendered useless as soon as you consume alcohol - sounds a bit silly right?

Silly but true…

Glutathione levels in the body are depleted heavily by the consumption of alcohol. As indicated by one 2008 study:

“Glutathione plays an important role in the detoxification of alcohol and acute alcohol administration leads to glutathione depletion in the liver and other tissues.”

Furthermore, your body’s ability to absorb thiamine, another essential component of proper alcohol metabolism, may also be restricted by alcohol consumption. As outlined in a 1980 study:

“Alcohol reduces the rate of intestinal absorption and the net transmural flux of thiamin. Furthermore, alcohol inhibits only the active and not the passive component of thiamin transport by impeding the cellular exit of thiamin across the basolateral or serosal membrane.”

What this means in a nutshell is that your body’s ability to use glutathione and thiamine is significantly restricted when you consume alcohol. This means that there needs to be a third layer of defence that protects flush fighting compounds from being depleted by the alcohol itself.

This is where L-theanine comes in…

Don’t panic, just have a cup of tea.

 

cup of green tea

L-theanine is a non-protein amino acid found only in green tea. Researched extensively in Japan, studies have shown l-theanine to be a powerful antidote for the depletive effects of alcohol.

The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Shizuoka in Japan extensively studied the interaction of l-theanine with alcohol and found it to significantly lower blood levels of alcohol, whilst also accelerating the breakdown of acetaldehyde.

In their research they stated:

On the 1st hour after ethanol administration, the ethanol concentrations in blood of the theanine combined groups decreased compared with the ethanol-alone group. The alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase activities in the liver increased by combined theanine.

In the same study, researchers also noted increased glutathione levels in subjects administered with l-theanine prior to consuming alcohol.  This implies that l-theanine also works to help counteract the alcohol-induced loss of glutathione and other vital compounds necessary for the proper metabolism of alcohol.

What this means in a nutshell is that l-theanine makes sure all of the ingredients in the formula have a chance to work properly. It does this by altering the chemistry of the alcohol you consume so that it doesn’t deplete the function of important flush fighting compounds in your body.

Therefore, taking an alcohol flushing supplement without this vital third layer of defence would just burn a hole in your pocket and do very little for your alcohol red face.

Get all three layers of alcohol red face defence in one convenient capsule.

You can get all of the ingredients necessary for the first, second and third layer of defence naturally. All you will need to do is eat 4 or 5 pineapple stems, an exceptionally large bowl of fruits and vegetables, a handful of pure yeast, 3 to 4 beef steaks and a few cups of green tea before you have one drink of alcohol.

That sounds like a lot of work just to have one drink...

A more efficient alternative would be to isolate the necessary compounds in these foods and pack them all into a small capsule that can be taken before you drink alcohol. Not only that, but the quantities of each ingredient can be balanced precisely to ensure an optimal level of synergy between all of the components of the formula.

This is why we created Sunset:  The only supplement that uses all three levels of defence to comprehensively stop a red face from alcohol.

 

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Sunset works to reduce the often embarrassing glow people get when drinking alcohol. It's safe, all-natural, and works better than antacids like Pepcid AC. Give it a try and never worry about flushing again!

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