According to research from the University of Warwick, green skin turns green when eaten in moderation.
It’s a phenomenon known as ‘cyanosis’ and occurs when certain proteins are converted to an amino acid called tyrosine, which is found in certain foods.
In the case of cheese, these tyrosines have a more acidic taste than the more alkaline ones found in other foods.
This means that when people eat a cheese such as Cheddar, their stomachs release acid to remove the cheese’s natural anti-oxidant properties.
But if they eat a large piece of cheese like Monterey Jack, they won’t have the same effect.
And when cheese is eaten at high doses, it also contains more than 10,000 of the amino acids that form tyrosinase.
As a result, people who have an increased acidity in their system may be more sensitive to the effect of the cheese.
“This study has shown that there are three key steps to a green skin reaction, and we’ve now identified the three components,” said study co-author Dr Rebecca Hargreaves.
“The first step is the conversion of the tyrosidic amino acids to tyrosol.
This can occur by the action of a food source or through the interaction between the bacteria in the stomach and the cheese.”
A second step involves the formation of an enzyme, tyrosase, which breaks down the tyosine into its more acidic, acidic forms.
This leads to the formation that turns the skin green.
The final step involves a reaction that takes place in the gut.
When this occurs, the bacteria produce enzymes that convert the acidic amino acids into the more neutral forms of tyrososine.
This is the main reason why people can experience green skin when they eat cheese.
The third step, which occurs when people consume cheese that contains a lot of water, is the activation of an additional enzyme, adenosine deaminase, that produces the same effects as tyrosionase.
“It’s thought that the activation or breakdown of this enzyme triggers the production of a new chemical that we call the green-cyanotic response,” said Dr Hargres.
“When you eat the green food, the green skin will then develop.”
This mechanism is important because it allows people to eat foods with high amounts of acidity without the body being able to produce more of the other components.
The study found that people who ate more cheese, or consumed it in smaller amounts, had a lower level of this second enzyme.
The green skin effect was most pronounced in people who were more sensitive.
“People who have a higher pH level or a higher amount of acid in their stomach will also experience a green-yellow or orange skin response,” Dr Hlegreaves said.
“In addition, a person with a high pH level who is also allergic to dairy products may experience a red or orange-yellow skin response.
These reactions are caused by a different set of proteins that are not activated by the cheese itself.
The researchers hypothesise that people with the same reaction to cheese may have the opposite reaction to milk, so this may explain why people who are allergic to cheese tend to have a similar reaction to other dairy products.”
It’s important to note that these effects are not caused by the same bacteria.
“These reactions are the result of a very different set [of proteins] than the bacteria that are active in the digestive system,” Dr David Waddington, a professor of nutrition and food science at the University, said.
So although the green reaction may be linked to dairy, it is not the only mechanism through which cheese could cause a green or orange reaction.
Dr Hoggins believes that people can have both a ‘normal’ reaction to dairy and a ‘cyanoacrylate’ reaction.
This type of reaction occurs when proteins break down, which in turn creates an acidic environment.
When you eat a food with a pH level between 6.5 and 6.8, the body will have a very high pH.
The acidity causes a chemical reaction that causes the proteins in the body to breakdown, and the acids are released to the environment.
This reaction is known as a ‘hydrolysis reaction’.
“A hydrolytic reaction is caused by an increase in the amount of water in the diet, which then causes a breakdown of the proteins that have been broken down,” Dr Waddensons research partner Dr Kristian Lohse said.
But it’s important not to confuse the hydrosytic reaction with a green reaction.
“Hydrolyses are caused when proteins are broken down and released to a acidic environment,” Dr Lohses said.
This acidic environment is what causes a green, orange or yellow skin reaction.
It is possible for people to have both hydrolysis reactions, and if this is the case, the hydrosol may actually be more