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  1. #1
    Registered User luke77's Avatar
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    Skin color and sweet potatoes

    Hey everyone,
    This is a serious question, although you guys will probably laugh at me. Has anyone noticed changes in their skin color because of eating too many sweet potatoes? The other day one of my friends said to me "dude, you look yellow". Sure enough, I went home and examined myself in the mirror, and my skin does seem to have a yellowish color to it - and I normally have "normal looking" skin. The only think I can think of is that I know that your skin can change colors if you eat massive amounts of carrots because of either the vitamin a or beta-carotene in them (I forget which one). I know that sweet potatoes have tons of these vitamins in them too, so I'm wondering if they could have caused this. I've been eating sweet potatoes for a while but the skin color change has been very gradual as well - I didn't just wake up one day with totally different-colored skin. Has anyone had a similar experience? I'm going to stop eating sweet potatoes for a while and see what happens, but I'm wondering how long it would take for my skin to change back if this is indeed the cause. I know it's not jaundice because I just had my liver tested, but I'm pretty freaked out about this...
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  2. #2
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    It can happen. My mom said when I was little I used to eat so many carrots that I would turn an orangish/yellow
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  3. #3
    Registered User svelt4's Avatar
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    I ate alot of sweet potatoes a few years ago and noticed my hands and feet were orange---went to doctor---its called carotenosis---too much carotene!It will not hurt you.
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  4. #4
    Registered User masterPE's Avatar
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    This is a pretty neat topic that I know a good amount about.

    If you take in excess amounts of vitamin A through Beta Carotene, yes your skin can change to a orangish-yellow color. Beta Carotene is not toxic, unlike other forms of vitamin A (such as vitamin A palmitate, which can be leathal if taken in excess) and if you eat a lot of it consistently, it will deposit under your skin, giving a orangish hint to your skin color. Beta Carotene is what give carrots and sweet potatoes their orange color.

    Back in WWII days, fighter pilots consumed LOTS of carrots, in an attempt to help them see better. So you could point out one by the color of their weird skin tone, orange.
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  5. #5
    Registered User RossK's Avatar
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    this happened to me as well dude! , on my face, palms of hand and feet mainly .
    I reducded my intake of carrots as I think they are the worst offender and its since died down .
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    Registered User luke77's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RossK
    this happened to me as well dude! , on my face, palms of hand and feet mainly .
    I reducded my intake of carrots as I think they are the worst offender and its since died down .
    Thanks guys. RossK, how long did it take until things died down (if you remember)? And so is it beta-carotene that is the culprit and vitamin a is ok, or should I avoid them both? I'm going to try to find a new multi-vitamin without either of these in it too...

    Thanks again,
    Luke
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  7. #7
    Registered User RossK's Avatar
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    Well First Off I cut Carrots to one a day and still kept my daily sweet potatoe .
    SO basically by reducing the old carrots id say after about 3 weeks it died down noticeably and its continued to drop down .
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  8. #8
    Registered User jenderfazz's Avatar
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    Pretty weird thing, isn't it? Yes, it can happen if you consume enough carotenoids (beta-carotene is the culprit, I'd imagine) because excess carotenoids don't get washed out through your urine (like vitamin c or many other minerals), but are instead stored in your fat tissue below the skin. This causes the change in skin color, which is most apparent at the palms.

    Beta-carotene is obviously an important factor in any diet. I'd keep the multivitamin and just try to consume less sweet potato. Good luck!
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  9. #9
    cockney turning scouse melon's Avatar
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    My friends say I'll turn green with all the veggies I eat, but so far I'm fine. I think I balance it with the blueberries.
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  10. #10
    Registered User jenderfazz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by melon
    My friends say I'll turn green with all the veggies I eat, but so far I'm fine. I think I balance it with the blueberries.
    So you'll turn a blueish-green?
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