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The little known connection between your hair and a turkey dinner

Since it’s Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. we’re re-running our annual post about hairy turkey…

What does your hair have in common with turkey? They both contain a chemical called tryptophan. Tryptophan is one of the amino acids that make up the protein structure of hair. It is also easily degraded by UV radiation so when scientists measure sun damage to hair, they can measure how much tryptophan is lost.
Hairy turkey

Tryptophan is also the chemical that people claim is responsible for making you sleepy after a big Thanksgiving dinner. Except that’s not really true. Snopes.com has an excellent debunking of the turkey-tryptophan myth. While it IS true that some forms of tryptophan can be a natural sedative, the kind in turkey (and many other meats as well) doesn’t make you drowsy. So, if you doze off after a big Thanksgiving meal, blame it on too much wine and mashed potatoes and not the tryptophan!


As always, Perry and I are VERY thankful for all our wonderful readers who make this blog possible. We love you all!!!