Why STAR is not believable

Why STAR is not believable

STAR is the abbreviation for Stanford-Taiwan ALDH2 Research.  It was announced at the Second Stanford-Taiwan ALDH2 Deficiency Research Consortium symposium that among the general population, 47% of Taiwanese, 30% of Japanese, 35% of Chinese mainlanders and 20% of Koreans are ALDH2 deficient.  However, Taiwanese aborigines and Europeans do not have ALDH2 deficiency in general.

It is known that certain East Asian groups have ALDH2 deficiency that contributes to flushing after ingesting alcoholic drinks.

The Taiwanese population consists of the people of Han ancestry, i.e., the flatland Taiwanese who are essentially from Zhangzhou and Quanzhou in Fukien province, the Hakka, the Chinese mainlanders who came to Taiwan in 1945-1950s, and the original mountain aborigines of Taiwan.  The original aborigines are akin to the Polynesians, and are not of Han ancestry, whereas the flatland Taiwanese, the Hakka and the Chinese mainlanders are.

According to the Stanford-Taiwan ALDH2 Deficiency Research Consortium symposium, ALDH2 deficiency among the Taiwanese population not including the original aborigines of Taiwan is 47%, that among the Chinese mainlanders is 35%, that among the Japanese is 30%, and that among the Koreans is 20%.

The discrepancy in the percentages of ALDH2 deficiency among the Taiwanese of Han ancestry and that among the Chinese mainlanders is not believable.

The percentage of ALDH2 deficiency among the Taiwanese of Han ancestry should be about the same as that among the Chinese mainlanders.   In other words, the percentage of ALDH2 deficiency among the Taiwanese of Han ancestry and the percentage of ALDH2 deficiency among the mostly Han Chinese mainlanders should be about the same.

The reported discrepancy between 47% among the Taiwanese and the 35% among the Chinese mainlanders is not believable.

The two percentages should be about the same or equal.  The discrepancy is (47% – 35% =) 12%.  How can this be?

The physique of Koreans is similar to that of the northern Chinese whereas the physique of the Taiwanese of Han ancestry is that of southern Chinese.  Northern Chinese and southern Chinese have quite different physiques in height, weight and  physical build.  These differences can also be seen in general between the northern Africans and the southern Africans, and between the northern Indians and the southern Indians of India.

The 20% ALDH2 deficiency among the Koreans would be similar to that among northern Chinese.  The 47% ALDH2 deficiency among the Taiwanese of Han ancestry should be similar to that among the southern Chinese.

The discrepancy between the Koreans or northern Chinese and southern Han Chinese accordingly is (47% – 20% =) 27%.   The calculated average would be (47 + 20)/2 = 33.5, which is close to the 35% for the Chinese mainlanders as reported by the Second Stanford-Taiwan ALDH2 Deficiency Research Consortium Symposium.

Therefore, the ALDG2 deficiency among the Taiwanese of Han ancestry should be about 33.5% to 35%, not the 47% as stated by the symposium.

 

About masterchensays

Victor Chen, herbalist, alternative healthcare lecturer, Chinese affairs analyst, retired journalist
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