Medicine: Orientals and Alcohol

Upon being offered the traditional one for the road, a Japanese will more likely than not decline with a polite "Kao akaku naru" (My face will get red). If he does accept the drink, he may feel uncomfortable after downing it. In any event, he—like most Asians—will probably never become an alcoholic. That fact has long been a puzzle to hard-drinking Westerners. The difference is often explained away by Oriental cultural or social traditions, like the strong Chinese taboo against public drunkenness. But now a group at the University of North Carolina has given new weight to a more recent explanation:...

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