Have you heard this old wives’ tale about how eating soy sauce will turn your skin dark? One of the writers mentioned it and we thought it sounded so novel we just have to check it out. But just how much of it is true?
We’ve all heard of advice telling us to avoid soy sauce after a surgery or injury because it will “turn the wound dark”. Or when we are getting too dark, people will tell us to avoid soy sauce. We all know the phrase “You are what you eat.” but just how much of it applies here?
The reassuring answer to this myth is a BIG NO!
If eating dark colored food really do make us dark, then we’ll have to avoid a whole lot of other foods, such as chocolate, seaweed, tires. Wait, nobody else eats tires?!
Okay, we found that an amino acid found in soy sauce called tyrosine really do contribute to darkening the skin. Tyrosine is an ingredient in most tanning lotions and it is naturally produced in the body. Tyrosine gets turned into melanin when you are exposed to the sun and if you’re unaware, melanin is the dark pigment responsible for dark skin.
Okay, before you start bombarding us about our earlier statement, let me explain why we said having eating soy sauce will turn us dark is a myth. That’s because many foodstuffs contain tyrosine, and if we were to name a few with higher tyrosine levels than soy sauce, you’d have lima beans, fava beans, lentils, snow peas, brewer’s yeast, beer and red wine.
Now, before you go off and list all of these food you’ll need to avoid in order to remain fair and beautiful, please understand that the effects are basically negligible.
Regardless of how you are getting the tyrosine (oral or topical), your body will use it for what its needed for and taking an over abundance of it will not make you tan more or increase production of melanin. This means that ingesting tyrosine will not cause melanoma. It is just the building block of melanin and you still need UV exposure to tan. Basically, if you get no sun, you’ll get no dark skin.
So now you can leave behind your concerns, and add lots of soy sauce into your half boiled eggs!
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