How to Treat Jet Lag with Melatonin-Rich Food

How to Treat Jet Lag with Melatonin-Rich Food
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There may be a way to get the benefits of over-the-counter melatonin supplements without the risk.


Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Unfortunately, there is “no guarantee of the strength or purity” of over-the-counter melatonin supplements, which have been found to contain impurities that “raise serious [safety] questions.”

“For these reasons, melatonin [supplements] cannot be recommended.” Too bad there’s no way you can get the benefits without the risks—unless melatonin was somehow found naturally in certain foods you could eat. “Melatonin was first discovered in plants…in 1995,” and has since been found throughout the plant kingdom. But, enough that eating them actually affects your levels? Yes. You randomize people to eat more or fewer vegetables, and you can see the effect.

Hard to get people to eat vegetables though. How about beer? The “[m]elatonin present in beer contributes to [an] increase [in] the levels of melatonin [in the human bloodstream].” However, alcohol consumption may actually mess with your own “endogenous melatonin secretion,” so beer probably isn’t the best choice.

Eat two bananas, or drink the juice of about two pounds of oranges or pineapple, and you can get significant bumps in melatonin concentrations in your blood. And, the melatonin levels found in those fruits are pretty “modest compared to” some other foods. Here’s the breakdown. The single food within each category with the highest recorded melatonin level, and how much you’d have to eat at one time to reach a physiological dose in your bloodstream.

We make melatonin, so it should come as no surprise that other animals do, too. The most melatonin-rich meat tested was salmon, but because there were only billionths of a gram per serving, you’d have to sit down and eat about 200 pounds to get the effect.

Okay. So, forget meat. What about whole grains? The highest recorded was a strain of corn so rich in melatonin you’d only have to eat 16 ears of corn. All right, scratch that. What about other vegetables? Plain white button mushrooms top the list. Only two pounds. A hundred times more melatonin than meat. But still, they’re so light; two pounds is like eating 10 cups of mushrooms. That’s a lot in one sitting. Thankfully, cranberries to the rescue; the most melatonin-rich fruit. Just a single ounce, and it’s like you just took a melatonin supplement, with only good side effects—other than, of course, the extreme sourness.

That’s about a third of a cup of cranberries. They’re pretty sturdy. So, you could travel without them getting smooshed. But what do you do with them once you get there? Easy to blend into a smoothie, but what if you’re stuck in a hotel? Can you eat dried cranberries, like, what are they called—craisins?

A study of various tart cherry products suggests that the drying process wipes out the melatonin. So, no melatonin in dried cherries, and presumably dried cranberries either—nor in juice. The level of melatonin in cherry juice concentrate was almost nondetectable. So, drinking cranberry juice would also presumably be a wash, which brings us to nuts.

Pistachios are not just the most melatonin-rich nut, they are simply off-the-charts as the most melatonin-rich food ever recorded. To get a physiological dose of melatonin, all you have to eat is two. Two what? Just two pistachios. Check it out; here are the data. More than 200 micrograms of melatonin per gram, .2 milligrams per gram. And, you can get the normal daily spike your brain gives you by taking just .3 micrograms: so, just two nuts. So, taking a whole handful of pistachio nuts is like taking one of those high-dose melatonin supplements. So, the best food for jet lag appears to be appropriately timed pistachios.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Unfortunately, there is “no guarantee of the strength or purity” of over-the-counter melatonin supplements, which have been found to contain impurities that “raise serious [safety] questions.”

“For these reasons, melatonin [supplements] cannot be recommended.” Too bad there’s no way you can get the benefits without the risks—unless melatonin was somehow found naturally in certain foods you could eat. “Melatonin was first discovered in plants…in 1995,” and has since been found throughout the plant kingdom. But, enough that eating them actually affects your levels? Yes. You randomize people to eat more or fewer vegetables, and you can see the effect.

Hard to get people to eat vegetables though. How about beer? The “[m]elatonin present in beer contributes to [an] increase [in] the levels of melatonin [in the human bloodstream].” However, alcohol consumption may actually mess with your own “endogenous melatonin secretion,” so beer probably isn’t the best choice.

Eat two bananas, or drink the juice of about two pounds of oranges or pineapple, and you can get significant bumps in melatonin concentrations in your blood. And, the melatonin levels found in those fruits are pretty “modest compared to” some other foods. Here’s the breakdown. The single food within each category with the highest recorded melatonin level, and how much you’d have to eat at one time to reach a physiological dose in your bloodstream.

We make melatonin, so it should come as no surprise that other animals do, too. The most melatonin-rich meat tested was salmon, but because there were only billionths of a gram per serving, you’d have to sit down and eat about 200 pounds to get the effect.

Okay. So, forget meat. What about whole grains? The highest recorded was a strain of corn so rich in melatonin you’d only have to eat 16 ears of corn. All right, scratch that. What about other vegetables? Plain white button mushrooms top the list. Only two pounds. A hundred times more melatonin than meat. But still, they’re so light; two pounds is like eating 10 cups of mushrooms. That’s a lot in one sitting. Thankfully, cranberries to the rescue; the most melatonin-rich fruit. Just a single ounce, and it’s like you just took a melatonin supplement, with only good side effects—other than, of course, the extreme sourness.

That’s about a third of a cup of cranberries. They’re pretty sturdy. So, you could travel without them getting smooshed. But what do you do with them once you get there? Easy to blend into a smoothie, but what if you’re stuck in a hotel? Can you eat dried cranberries, like, what are they called—craisins?

A study of various tart cherry products suggests that the drying process wipes out the melatonin. So, no melatonin in dried cherries, and presumably dried cranberries either—nor in juice. The level of melatonin in cherry juice concentrate was almost nondetectable. So, drinking cranberry juice would also presumably be a wash, which brings us to nuts.

Pistachios are not just the most melatonin-rich nut, they are simply off-the-charts as the most melatonin-rich food ever recorded. To get a physiological dose of melatonin, all you have to eat is two. Two what? Just two pistachios. Check it out; here are the data. More than 200 micrograms of melatonin per gram, .2 milligrams per gram. And, you can get the normal daily spike your brain gives you by taking just .3 micrograms: so, just two nuts. So, taking a whole handful of pistachio nuts is like taking one of those high-dose melatonin supplements. So, the best food for jet lag appears to be appropriately timed pistachios.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

Isn’t that mind-blowing?! I love it when there are safe, simple, side effect-free solutions.

This is the last in a three-video series on jet lag and melatonin. If you missed the first two, check out How to Treat Jet Lag with Light and Are Melatonin Supplements Safe?

More nutty videos here:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

UPDATE: The pistachio numbers seem a little too good to be true? They may be. An expression of concern has been raised about the pistachio data. Hat tip to the eagle eyes of NF volunteer Brett Chrest and the great Retraction Watch website.

183 responses to “How to Treat Jet Lag with Melatonin-Rich Food

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  1. Dr G’s statement in the notes is so true: ” I love it when there are safe, simple, side effect-free solutions.”.
    And the synergistic effect of whole foods as a package deal is the way to go …. avoid isolated supplements whenever possible!

    1. Well said, WFPB-Hal. Melatonin is only one of several biological and environmental factors that work in concert to take us into sleep, and later, if we’re fortunate, wake us. I’m reading a fascinating book by an eminent sleep researcher at UC-Berkeley that describes the process of going to sleeping and the complex, health-restoring activity that occurs during sleep. It is highly readable and includes discussions and citations of the research. It is definitely changing my view on the vital importance of sleep, reminiscent of how Dr. Greger’s work led me to shift to 100% WFPB 6 six years ago. Avid followers of NF will likely enjoy this book. “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker, 2017.

  2. Great, ty Dr Greger! I didn’t realise that beta blockers interfered with melatonin production, (1:02) and neither apparently did my doctors. They have even suggested in the past to take my daily dosage in the evening to help my chronic sleeplessness. I can fall asleep anytime but not stay asleep. If pistachios can help, that would be a life-changer for me!

  3. Does the timing of eating the pistachios make a difference? Like taking melatonin before bed? Does it take longer to absorb the melatonin from a whole food source than from a supplement?

        1. But that is the beauty of getting things in whole food form as opposed to isolated supplements, they act entirely different in the body. Our bodies are pretty brilliant at knowing what to do with the whole pant foods intended for them. My guess is that our bodies would stop absorbing any unneeded melatonin when coming from nuts, fruit, etc.

    1. Hi,

      Research and studies in melatonin found a role in the day/night cycles in plants, as hormone, as antioxidant and as antistress agent.
      Although its role as a plant hormone is still far of from being fully established, its involvement in processes such as growth, rhizogenesis, and photosynthesis seems evident. The multiple changes in gene expression caused by melatonin point to its role as a multiregulatory molecule capable of coordinating many aspects of plant development.
      Its role as antistress agent involves protection against abiotic stressors, such as drought, salinity, low and high ambient temperatures, UV radiation and toxic chemicals.

      Melatonin was discovered in 1995, so there is a lot more to learn from its functions. This article is very interesting:

      Plants do not sleep because they don’t have a nervous system, though, they need the circadian rythm to regulate their functions such as growth and proper nourishment.

      Yared, Health Support Volunteer.

      1. Yared, You write ” Melatonin was discovered in 1995, so there is a lot more to learn about its functions.” The article you cite suggests that melatonin was discovered in plants in 1995 but states that it was well known as an animal hormone. In fact, it has been discovered in every animal and plant studied to date, it is in the most primitive algae that evolved more than 3 billion years ago. It is identical in all species. It was isolated and chemically identified (discovered) by Aaron Lerner, M.D., a Yale dermatologist after an incredible amount of physical lab work over a 4 year period in 1953. He gave the hormone the official designation of N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine but he also gave it the more melodious name of melatonin. Mela because the hormone lightens the skin and tonin because it is derived from serotonin. He published his findings in 1958 in The Journal of the American Chemical Society. You have unintentionally shorted a man who did an amazing amount of hard work and who showed great scientific insight in discovering melatonin and credited its discovery 42 years later than it actually occurred.

  4. This info. actually worries me, as I am left to wonder if eating pistachios (and other nuts) might in some way
    be making us sleepy, and could they also be reducing or sexual organs and processes, as has been shown
    in lab rats as a result of being fed melatonin. No one eats 2 pistachios. You eat, like, 15 of them at least, at
    a time. And how about the “nut butter” eaters. Might we be getting too much melatonin rich foods?

    Data, science, and clarity on this, please, Dr. G.

    1. Rev Veg, Regarding your concern ” … could they also be reducing or sexual organs and processes …”,

      you may wish to watch a previous video on pistachios:

      I have no idea what the outcome of the two effects really is. Do the effects cancel each other? Is one long term and one short term? My guess would be that they affect different processes in different ways and to different degrees, but how exactly, I have no idea.

    2. ” and could they also be reducing or sexual organs and processes,”

      Wouldn’t that be a catastrophe. The Union of Concerned Scientists just recently came out with it’s 25th anniversary report. In the last 25 years the global human population has grown from 6 billion to 8 billion while the numbers of other species has decreased by 30%. Doesn’t look like all those pistachios they’re selling at WalMart are “reducing or sexual organs and processes,” after all.

    3. While there certainly are many studies reflecting hazards of too much melatonin supplementation, I only could find one article that addressed the thought that one could have adverse effects from too much food containing melatonin:
      “No adverse effects has been observed by the consumption of melatonin in foods or drinks. In addition, 1–10 mg/kg is usually considered as standard dose for assisting sleep and there were no toxicological effects found at a dose of 10 mg melatonin (orally) in a 28-day randomized, double-blind clinical trial [326,327]. Furthermore, no toxic effects were observed with high-dose melatonin in pregnant animal models [328].
      Nevertheless, some adverse effects, such as dizziness, headache, nausea and sleepiness, have been reported by administration of high-dose melatonin, which was used as treatment of some diseases [329,330]. In a case of melatonin overdose (oral administration), lethargy and disorientation occurred to a man of 66 years old caused by 24 mg/kg melatonin for relaxation and sleep before operation, though he recovered completely afterwards.” Please see the whole article which you may find reassuring.

      1. I haven’t read the whole thread here but am curious to know whether any others (here or elsewhere) have reported the symptoms I get when I eat pistachios. I digest all other nuts very well and they are a staple food for me, and I don’t have strange reactions to any other food (having not eaten ‘magic mushrooms’ or similar for fourty years or so!!); I have been vegan for 15 years and near-vegan for decades. With pistachios I get within hours a strong feeling of unpleasant tiredness, blurriness, a kind of ‘physical disconnectedness’ and something that resembles nausea. I have tried pistachios again recently, having stopped taking melatonine supplements for months now (which I thought when I watched Dr Greger’s video post might have helped trigger the symptoms) but the reaction to pistachios has remained just as strong as before. I’d love some ideas about this since I love their taste and feel very tempted to buy them from time to time – though I always regret it…

  5. Would love to find out what is the “appropriate time” to eat the pistachios when travelling. Just before you reach the destination or just before bed?

    1. Hi,

      It’s a good question. to be honest I don’t know the answer. I can suggest, though, eat them 1-2 hours before you want to sleep.

      I will be looking for more info about it.

      Yared, Health Support Volunteer

  6. Besides the timing, how much of the melatonin is absorbed into the bloodstream? As far as I know, no one has actually measured the amount of melatonin absorbed by eating X number of pistachios. The way the laboratory extracted the melatonin for measurement was not similar to the human digestive process.

      1. I was able to unearth two studies, admittedly small that focused on absorption and bioavailaility of melatonin, although this involved an oral solution, not pistachios. They indicate absorption is limited and may shed some light on the subject,
        This cohort crossover study estimated pharmacokinetics of oral and iv melatonin, respectively in healthy volunteers. Bioavailability of oral melatonin was only 3 %.
        The absolute bioavailability of MLT was from 1 to 37%: mean=8.6+/-3.9% and 16.8+/-12.7% for male and female subjects, respectively.
        Hope that helps.

  7. What timing on my part! Yesterday I purchased dry roasted (but salted) in the shell pistachios. Looking for a treat last night, I ate about 3/4 cup (in the shell) around 8pm. Went to bed at 11pm. Had a wonderful sleep last night. I told my daughter and we both wondered why–saying the usual stuff like probably being more physically active tired me out. Little did I know it was the pistachios — and yes I know it was more than two nuts. Perhaps dose related for size etc. anyway, this was a surprise article for me. The next time I don’t sleep so well, I’ll try the nuts the next night and it will be an experiment for me or just a mind game. Keep posted. Be well!

    1. My sleep cycle got screwed up from taking a generic form of Zyrtec for hay fever in the morning. I haven’t slept well for two nights as a result. I’m headed for the nut aisle at the co-op today! And no more allergy pills except perhaps out of desperation, and then only at night.

  8. I wish that you would supply the names of the brands of Melatonin with which problems have been found–you have smirched the names of many usually trustworthy supplement makers, and I do use Melatonin at low dose to help with sleep problems caused by my Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (aka CFS), a chronic disease which the medical profession has totally ignored or messed up for over 30 years, with of course the exception of some really great researchers who may finally be getting somewhere, with very little help from the NIH. I am all in favour of getting what help we can from food, but some supplements do help a bit, so we as a group have become rather sensitive to the current war on supplements, which you seem to have joined. So please publish the names of the offending companies.

    1. The Canadian study which versed 31 different types purchased over the counter in retail outlets and pharmacies, had virtually all off a bit on the dose as opposed to what was stated on the label and what was found varying from 1% to 400%. And eight of those were found to contain serotonin which is not a thing one wants as it may have adverse untoward side effects. Other studies also point to a problem. I think if the industry wanted to counter this data they could sponsor a independent assessment of their own, on multiple brand testing and offer that as opposition…but they have not. Wonder why that, in other than a single brand consideration likely it is still a problem.

      If you have a trusted brand that you find has third party independent testing of quality contaminants and concentration nothing is stopping you from purchasing that.

      But to claim this…”you have smirched the names of many usually trustworthy supplement makers,” is not fact. None were named as it is independent from the basic this it is consumer beware, much caution must be employed when purchasing these, and of course we may be better served by choosing a food product.

      However I estimate if one wanted to explore the actual brands tested one could purchase the actual study and likely the names are found within them.
      But if named in this a counter claim could also likely be made….well Dr Greger is only mentioning these are these all are suspect retailers and the rest of the industry is safe….so either way it is loose loose.

      1. Here is the Canadian study…

      2. Good points Ron.

        It always bemuses me when people accuse videos of attacking or besmirching this or that, when all they do is report the results of various studies published in scientific journals. If they have contrary evidence, why don’t they cite it instead of just accusing the video or Dr G of misbehaviour?

        Perhaps it’s just it’s just a case of the cynical policy in football of ‘if you can’y play the ball, play the man’. Of course, that is often classed as a ‘foul’ under the rules of the game.

        1. I do have a dog in this fight Tom.

          Quite a few years ago I used M and got heart palpitations. I didn’t know the cause just stayed away from it after that. Looking over the Canadian study I found serotonin was found in 8 of the 31 samples tested. This I just really studied two days ago.

          Serotonin does of course have as side effect, one of many, heart palpitations. So now I know the why. And as far as supplements, herbs, whatever, goes, with very few exceptions I always buy the higher quality stuff from big companies with good reputations. I forget now the source but it was buyer beware for me.

          I have a sound heart I suppose, never having any problems, but what if that was not me but someone who did not?
          I really think this stuff has to be regulated. Orin Hatch,who was the sponsor of the legislation which removed it in the nineties,is now in his last term
          so we can hope I suppose. But in any event I am personally not to worried about ruining the reputation of the industry.

    2. Christopher,

      I was looking at the studies last night and one said: “Melatonin content was found to range from -83% to +478% of the labelled content. Additionally, lot-to-lot variable within a particular product varied by as much as 465%. This variability did not appear to be correlated with manufacturer or product type.” So it wasn’t about the brands or product type. LOT TO LOT there was variability by as much as 465%. There goes the GMP thought process.

      It is not recommended for insomnia at all and can make insomnia worse. from the Huffington Post “But, ironically, with prolonged use, it can actually amplify insomnia. Having too much melatonin in the system, the theory goes, overwhelms the receptors, changing how a patient reacts to the hormone — whether it’s endogenous or exogenous.”

      It is something that helps fix your circadian rhythms if you have jet lag, but the supplements only work at all in 1/3 of the people who use them and often stop working after a few days. If you take it at the wrong time, you can make your problem worse. (Go back to the first jet lag video with light therapy.)

      Health-wise, it can cause high blood pressure and high blood sugar and make arthritis worse and can cause hormonal problems in females and males leading to liver and kidney problems in men. It lowers blood flow and affects seizures and causes mood problems in people with dementia and can cause bad dreams and vertigo and dizziness. It makes blood pressure meds, seizure meds and birth control less effective. There were 24,000 calls to poison control centers about people who got sick on Melatonin.

      It can cause Diabetes because it causes suppression of insulin and disturbed glucose metabolism. People with certain genes have a worse problem with it and so do people who work the night shift or who eat later at night. Worse, the doses the pills are so much higher than your body needs and it stays in the body so long and the whole time it is in the body the body increases blood glucose, so it can still be affecting your blood sugar throughout the morning.

      People who work the night shift are more prone to metabolic problems and disease and melatonin causes similar blood sugar problems.

      And what do you gain if you are in the 1/3 of the people it works short term for?

      One review of 15 studies involving 284 subjects found that those who took melatonin before bed fell asleep 3.9 minutes faster on average and slept 13 minutes longer.

      Another, of 19 studies involving 1,700 people, found melatonin users fell asleep 7 minutes faster on average and slept 8 minutes longer.

      1. Was that too many words? Sorry. Late night processing.

        1) Melatonin tested variable lot to lot by 485% – not correlated with manufacturer or type of product.
        2) Melatonin 26% have other things like Serotonin in it.
        3) Melatonin makes insomnia worse
        4) Melatonin only works a few days before overwhelming the receptors
        5) Melatonin only works in 1/3 of the people at all.
        6) If you take Melatonin at the wrong time, you can make your circadian rhythms worse.
        7) It can cause high blood pressure.
        8) It can cause high blood sugar and affect glucose metabolism and suppresses insulin and that can last through the next morning.
        9) It can cause females to lose their period and affects male hormones and can affect liver and kidney long term.
        10) It lowers blood flow.
        11) It can cause vertigo and dizziness and increases falls in the elderly and mood problems in dementia patients.
        12) It makes blood pressure meds, seizure meds and birth control less effective.
        13) It can cause bad dreams and grogginess in the morning.
        14) The benefits per 34 studies is falling asleep 3.9 to 7 minutes faster and staying asleep 8 to 13 minutes longer, but you won’t know whether it is safe for you to eat breakfast if you are a Diabetic.

        1. Oops, I left out the sexual organs and the contaminants other than Serotonin.

          That is why I am not the one whose face is on the page of this site.

              1. The Effect of Pistachios on Blood Glucose
                The Effect of Pistachios on Lipid Profiles and Endothelial Function
                The Chemopreventative Potential of Pistachios

                Possible Mechanism Pistachios and Cancer PubMed

                “Pistachios in Cancer or Neurodegenerative Diseases
                Vitamin E and other antioxidants provide some protection against certain forms of cancer. Therefore, foods such as pistachios, with a high content of γ-tocopherol (a form of vitamin E) and other antioxidants may reduce the risk of different types of cancer.51 Moreover, the skin of nuts contains considerable amounts of resveratrol,52 which has been widely studied for its role in cancer, but new research is now changing this focus to other diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.53”

                The inverse relationship between tree nut eaters and mortality.

                “In a study published November 20, 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine1, researchers looked at the association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality among 76,464 women in the Nurses’ Health Study and 42,498 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Consumption of nuts, including tree nuts (such as pistachios, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, and walnuts), was inversely associated with total mortality in both men and women, independent of other predictors for death. In addition, there were significant inverse associations for deaths due to cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease.”

                Pistachio and Gut Microbiota PubMed

                Recent findings have shown that both pistachios and almonds have a potential prebiotic effect in healthy populations, and that the effect of the former is greater.54 Thereby, pistachios’ microbiota modulation increased the number of butyrate-producing bacteria, identified as potentially beneficial, whereas bifidobacteria was not affected. However, new investigations should be performed to contrast and further explore these findings. Regulation of the phyla composition or the production of regulatory and protective molecules (eg, butyrate) by our gut microbiota could be mediators of the well-established beneficial properties of pistachios and other nuts.

                Pistachios as phosphodiesterase inhibitors for asthma and pain and inflammation

                Researchers from Italy’s University of Salerno obtained some galls from the pistachio tree – Pistacia integerrima. They proceeded to grind them into a powder.

                They proceeded to extract and analyze the extracts for their biochemical constituents. They found numerous medicinal compounds including sterols, triterpenoids and phenols – including naringenin found in citrus and others.

                One of the main therapeutic agents found was pistagremic acid. This has been found in other research to reduce pain and inflammation.

                Anyway, the researchers produced ten different extract fractions from the powder and analyzed them against phosphodiesterase-1. The powder extracts significantly inhibited phosphodiesterase-1.

                They also demonstrated from other research on phosphodiesterase and phosphodiesterase inhibitors – given the traditional history in asthmatic treatment – that Pistacia integerrima also likely inhibits phosphodiesterase-5.

                Other research has found pistachio essential oil also inhibits the 5-lipoxygenase enzyme – involved in pain and inflammation.

                1. Wow, Deb – 12 weeks, you sure bring the extra info!
                  “Moreover, the skin of nuts contains considerable amounts of resveratrol, 52 which has been widely studied for its role in cancer”… I am assuming the role in cancer is a positive one.

                  My problem with Pistachios is I can easily mow through a whole bag of the little guys.

  9. I have a question about going in the opposite direction: energizing oneself to stay awake (or to alleviate sluggishness). I have more difficulty dealing with sluggishness during the day than jet lag at night. I did a search on for “ginseng” but found only one hit where the herb is mentioned. Can Dr. G. address this topic sometime, especially ginseng, since it seems to be one of the most studied herbs in the world? Naturally I’m looking for something safe and effective.

    I found this list of “Adaptogenic ” herbs online. No surprise that Panax Ginseng is on the list. Others are

    Green Tea
    Golden root (rhodiola)
    Maca (Peruvian annual plant)
    Ashwangandha (Ayurvedic medicine)
    Cordyceps (shrums)
    Holy Basil
    Reishi mushrooms
    He Shou Wu (polygonum multiflorum)
    Schisandra (Chinese berries)

    Can any of those potions help to alleviate sluggishness or tiredness (without being inimical to health)?

    1. I’ve recently started taking rhodiola, and it makes me feel pretty good during the day. One on that list lowered my blood pressure by 5-10 points, and when it wears off at night it makes me sleep like a baby. I had been getting up 2-4 times a night to urinate, but not now.

      I’ve tried melatonin supplement and it helps me fall asleep for about 3-4 hours then I’m wide awake. So it doesn’t work for me. I’ll be interested to try the pistachios .

      Im so stoked. Many of my health concerns have been addressed and are better than 5-8 years ago.

    2. Just my personal experience but schizandra or schizandra chinensis which is extracted from fruit, and is adaptogenic decidedly puts me to sleep. It is also handy to improve vision.

      1. I can only assume one is adverse to caffeine. But if one is not, Mate has caffeine and is not suffering, perhaps, some of the detrimental effects of coffee.
        The not smoked variety must be used however, as the smoked variety has a possibility due to the smoking, to have cancer causing agents within it.

    3. You are probably aware that this site encourages obtaining needed nutrients through use of whole plant-based foods as opposed to untested herbal remedies nor are brand name products endorsed. However, I can provide some help considering the fatigue you mentioned. You didn’t say what you are eating, but you’ll want to make sure you are indeed eating a variety of foods that promote health. Perhaps a trial with Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen recommendation (?)
      As a nurse, I’m going to recommend you first rule out any other causes besides nutrition that may be causing/contributing to your daytime fatigue, such as a disease, lack of exercise, stress, etc. Here is a basic article that reviews this.
      Finally you of course can find all sorts of non-proven recommendations for what foods (besides a healthy varied diet in general) promote energy, which lack evidence. And I’m glad you’re focusing on both effectiveness and safety) I did find one article from a source that is more reliable:
      Hope these help and I will pass on the request for more information on gensing. .

  10. No wonder I’m falling asleep in the daytime – been eating about 25 pistachio nuts around 10 am and another batch in the afternoon I’ve heard they lower BP.

    Hijacking Alert!! Hijacking Alert!!
    I’d like to hear from those who have lowered their systolic BP significantly using whole plant foods, teas, herbs, supplements without unwanted side effects. I am on a low sodium diet, probably between 600 – 1000 mg per day. I’d be interested to hear from those who get no added salt in their diets – have they experienced any problems, e.g. arrythmias. Right now I am experimenting with celery (about 1 cup per day), beets, green and rooibos tea (I don’t drink hibiscus – too acidic for me and my older teeth).

    1. Gengo Things that helped me most are filtering coffee, limiting salt, (not zero salt). Staying away from frozen refined foods, adding beets to my smoothie, using citruline and arginine, and ashwagandha supplements, and getting enough rest. And reducing beer consumption, or swapping between beer and wine.

      Wfpb is should be long term help.

        1. I have no way to test, but I’ve been happy with stuff from bulksupplements and the amazon store bulksupplement. I bought some niacin recently and it was so potent only a 1/3 dose made me flush like I had a major sunburn. it was painful. Really dropped my dose and frequency after that.

          1. DArmstrong, My husband was taking niacin when I met him 11 years ago (he was age 65) — and low dose aspirin to control the flushes and other symptoms. He thought it was for high cholesterol. He stopped both, at my suggestion; at the same time, he started eating my cooking (vegetarian; he was a widower when we met). I’ve never seen any high cholesterol results in his blood tests since we’ve been together. It’s now well below 200. As is mine. We’re now both whole foods plant based eaters, slowly transitioning to this over the past 5-6 years, dairy first, then eggs.

            1. Dr J thanks.

              I’m not sure of your meaning with your post. Are you saying niacin is bad, or that one should only get from food?

              However, I don’t take it for cholesterol, as I’ve never really been high in my life. And is about 165-170 now. however, I have pretty severe white coat syndrom with blood pressure in the 135-140 range at the office, and and 112-123 at home. If I use supplements and filter my coffee I can drop it to 100-110. Generally, I think food is usually a better choice than supplements but I do take a couple if I think they help with my sport.

              I’ve always had cold hands and feet that became very severe a couple years ago. Then I started busting lots of blood vessels and wondered if and how bad I had artery disease.

              Anyway, I’ve pretty much healed from the broken blood vessels thats not happening anymore. I’ve increased iodine and even taken a very intermittent thyroid supplement and my hands and feet don’t hurt anymore. So over all I feel much healthier than I did 5-10 years ago.

              I’m also a very good to top a mature athlete for my age, but I’ve known some that have died of heart attacks.

    2. Dr. Greger has reported in a video that ground flax seeds, (I use 2 tablespoons a day), are one of the best plant foods to lower bp. I am vegan anyway, with 8-10 servings of plant food/day-which makes a solid difference–all meat is pro-wnflamatory, but definitely ground flax seeds are a very useful part of lowering bp, in my experience.

    3. My blood pressure is around 100/60, I’m in my 70’s and on no meds. My secret – Daily Dozen, no added salt, no oils and lots of spices and daily amla! Thank you team for all the info and giving me the simple Daily Dozen guide.

        1. No added salt for a number of years; oil and sugar about a year. Use Dr G’s date syrup in his cookbook for sweetener and I use beans/seeds/nuts in place of oils in salad dressings and other recipes. Good luck on your journey to good health.

          1. I gave up salt or any added salt awhile back and that didn’t work for me. When I had my blood checked I very was low on both sodium and chloride. Not a very good time, as I could not accomplish much, I was just wiped out all the time.

            Got it back up a little, and I felt fine. However, being an athlete, I deplete my salt stores rather quickly unlike some of the sedentary people on this site.

  11. Wow! Now I may understand why I’ve often had very strange reactions after eating pistachios (and definitely not other nuts – I eat lots of them, of all types, without any problem). Pistachios have made me feel very ‘trippy’ – a strange and rather unpleasant sensation of not being grounded, with a vague nausea and a bizarre feeling of tiredness. I love the taste of them and don’t remember ever having problems in the past but I had been taking melatonin in recent years against insomnia and I’m guessing now that I had just been over-dosing on melatonin without realising it. I always wondered whether I was the only person with these strange but consistent reactions to pistachios…

    More recently I have stopped taking melatonin and any other medication or supplement to help sleep so I’ll try pistochios again and see what happens!

    Very grateful, as ever, for the terrific information on Nutrition Facts!

  12. The only way my 12 year old son can sleep is with prescribed melatonin- but now I’m worried looking at the side effects. Tried so many herbal sleep aids but they don’t work, plus he takes magnesium and phosphodydlserine daily. And he is anaphylactic to nuts so that rules out the pistachios! Any help/suggestions??? Because just one bad sleep he turns into a monster

    1. Dr. Greger has a topic on sleep and raising Melatonin naturally.

      Though looking at these lists, I am not sure that all of those foods on the other page are useful, if these are the best and the third cup of cranberries looks like the runner-up.

      There were studies on some of the other things and it might not only be melatonin to help people sleep. Increasing Tryptophan and Serotonin naturally might help, too.

      “Cherries are considered the go-to fruit for aiding sleep. Drinking tart cherry juice (usually from Montmorency cherries) has been shown to significantly improve both the quality and duration of sleep.

      In one small study, people who drank cherry juice before bedtime not only sleep for longer, but they also experienced improved quality of sleep.

      This is not the first study to show sleep benefits from cherries. For example, a 2010 report in the Journal of Medicinal Food showed that drinking tart cherry juice alleviated insomnia by increasing levels of circulating melatonin. Another study in 2010 noted that cherries contain tryptophan, serotonin, and melatonin. Volunteers received daily ‘doses’ of high melatonin cherries for several days and experienced improved sleep quality.

      But it’s not just tart cherries that contain melatonin. Evidence suggests that the sweet Rainier cherry has the highest level of all. So while they are in season, enjoy your cherries and the sleep benefits they bring.”

      There are some fruits, which are NOT high in Melatonin, but, which seem to raise Melatonin levels and those might be things kids might eat.

      “In a recent small study, researchers in Thailand looked at consumption of fruits that many of us take for granted such as pineapple, bananas and oranges. Past studies have shown that these fruits have generally low levels of melatonin (compared to fruits like cherries), yet all had a measurable effect on melatonin levels in volunteers.

      The researchers know this because they measured levels of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6-s, a marker of circulating melatonin in the body). Higher levels of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin or aMT6s in the urine indicates higher levels of melatonin circulating within the bloodstream.

      Significant increases in urine aMT6-s concentrations were seen after the consumption of these three sunshine fruits. Pineapple increased levels by 255%, bananas by 180%, and oranges by 47%”

      “Some sources suggest kiwifruit is a good source of melatonin but this isn’t borne out by research. There is some evidence that kiwifruit can aid sleep – but in this case effect may be more indirect. In another study by Taiwanese researchers, participants ate two kiwi fruit an hour before bedtime over a 4-week period. At the end of that time sleep/wake cycles seemed to have normalised and the authors suggest this could be due to the effect that kiwi has on serotonin levels. Serotonin not only helps to normalise moods; it also plays an important role in sleep because the body uses it to synthesize melatonin.”

      “So do goji berries. In fact, one of the Chinese traditional uses of goji berry were to induce sleep and to reduce stress. In one study people drinking 120ml/day (equivalent to at least 150g of fresh fruit) goji berry juice (the species used was Lycium barbarum) found their quality of sleep improved significantly without having any adverse effects.”

      I am going to say Decaf Green tea if you can get him to drink it.

      Here are some sites, which talk about kids with sleep issues. has 40 videos on sleep. No magic bullet, but principles.

      1. Soy milk has tryptophan.

        Soy contains nearly 122 percent of the recommended daily tryptophan value, at .048 grams per ounce.

        A smoothie with banana and soymilk or Dr. Greger’s Banana and Matcha dessert might help.

        1. A deficiency in B6 has been linked with lowered serotonin levels and poor sleep. A deficiency in B6 is also linked to symptoms of depression and mood disorders which can lead to insomnia. Highest sources of B6 are:

          Sunflower seeds

          Pistachio nuts





          1. Lower his saturated fat and sugar and increase his fiber and carbs.

            A new study found that eating less fiber, more saturated fat and more sugar is associated with lighter, less restorative, and more disrupted sleep.



            Eating sugar causes people to wake up more often and get less deep sleep.

            “According to a study conducted at Columbia University, people who ate a lot of sugar through the day reported more arousals without actually being awakened – than those who ate less sweetened food. These people also reported to feeling chronically wiped out, due to the fact that they are pulled back into a lighter and less restorative stage of sleep.”

            1. Thanks for the suggestions, I will try as many of these as possible. Can’t get fresh cranberries in Australia but a lot of the other things we can try.

                1. Dee,

                  Fluoride causes damage to the pineal gland and also lowers melatonin.

                  Research gate has an article about it.

                  I don’t know if you have fluoride in your water, but it is something to think about.

                  Also, I am not sure that I am understanding the serotonin part right. Melatonin lowers Serotonin and Serotonin raises blood pressure, too.

                  I have a lot of topics about both serotonin and melatonin to look up to try to understand.

                  1. I just read that the body uses serotonin to produce melatonin and that is why people with low serotonin or depression or anxiety tend to have sleep disorders.

                    1. Some things which lower serotonin are:

                      Too little exposure to sunlight.
                      Heavy metal exposure.
                      Hormonal changes
                      Some prescription meds.

    2. Hi, Dee. I understand your concern. I assume that you have already had a doctor check for possible underlying medical causes for your son’s inability to sleep. If not, then that would be the place to start. I also assume that he is getting regular exercise, trying to maintain a regular sleep schedule, sleeping in a dark, cool room, and avoiding stimulating foods and drinks, as well as screens (phones, computers, tablets, etc.) before bedtime. You did not say why he is taking magnesium and phosphatidyl serine, but these are often used to help calm people. You might be interested in these, if you have not already seen them:
      I hope that helps!

      1. Thank you for your response, and yes to all of the above! He is taking magnesium and ps from my own research and from naturopath suggestion to help calm him down for sleep. He had severe eczema as a baby/young child that kept him awake scratching a lot, would only sleep an hour at a time at one stage. I would sleep next to him to hold him so he wouldn’t scratch too much. I think his lack of sleep now has a lot to do with that pattern when he was young, drs agree.

    3. In another video here it shows that red raspberries are really high in melatonin and cherries are high as well but not as high as raspberries, apparently both beaten out by cranberries.

  13. Strange how there is no mass hypersomnia and increased automobile accidents when pistachio season rolls around. I will even give it a time frame, ever. Something tells me eating them for sleep is a complete waste of time based on literally centuries of evidence.

    1. Technically, in the 34 studies on Melatonin only increased the time getting to sleep from 3.9 minutes to 7 minutes and only kept them sleeping an extra 8 to 11 minutes, so Melatonin supplements don’t help all that much.

      I will look to see if there is a sleep study with Potassium or with raising Natural Melatonin versus supplementing.

      1. Jimbo, I can’t find any specific pistachio sleep studies, so I guess you have your point.

        However, I highly suspect that I will sleep better knowing that Pistachios raise my Melatonin levels while decreasing my blood sugar and preventing high blood pressure versus taking Melatonin and worrying about whether I will become Diabetic or have to go on Blood Pressure meds.

        Jimbo, I know that you are frustrated with Dr. Greger coming against these supplements.

        Do you have sleep problems?

        I am someone who does have sleep problems, but I tried Melatonin and I am in the 2/3rds of the people who don’t see any benefit from it.

        Maybe that is why I like these topics and if you are in the 1/3 people who Melatonin helps, that might be why you get defensive about it.

        He is trying to help people and he is in a position where he can’t possibly please all of us, but I see him trying to.

        If you have a topic you would like better, maybe you could post that and he might cover it.

        I have watched him respond that way to person after person.

        Anyway, I like that you come and share your feedback, even if it comes across as angry with Dr. Greger.

        You are right. There are no studies yet about pistachios and sleep.

        That doesn’t mean that you are right that it doesn’t work.

        1. I am sure that it is good for Dr. Greger and for this site to have some dissenting opinions. It probably helps keep him humble.

          Anyway, he appears to be open to valid criticisms and there is much evidence that he responds to the feedback.

          1. You are very gracious Deb.

            People who simply dismiss all and any evidence they don’t like because it conflicts with their opinions (and teir own somewhat bizarre reasoning processes) leave me baffled. Consequently my replies to their posts tend to be terser and more abrasive. I admire your attitude.

            However, living up to my current moniker, here is an off-topic link that may be interesting to some people.. It is a reasonably brief summary of the evidence around the effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on chronic disease prevention. A good read I think.


            1. Thanks Tom.

              When people do that, often it is that they are invested emotionally in something and feel like it is being attacked.

              Youtube responses were pretty good today versus yesterday. Yesterday, people felt like Melatonin was being attacked. Today, he was offering a food, which might help and people got less defensive.

              The one response today, which was harsher was a woman whose child is being prescribed Melatonin for autism and that child has seizures if they don’t sleep properly. Melatonin is something, which can either help with seizures or cause them, but that being said, the woman was emotionally feeling angry, because she is trying to protect her child and do what her team of doctors are telling her to do and I know hearing scary information was triggering her.

              She might be a very positive person and a good supporter of Dr. Greger, but she felt like her kid was threatened somehow and she made a remark like “he isn’t the only expert” and he genuinely isn’t, but this was about him pointing out scary things about something her child is on as a prescribed medicine and her mind has to wrestle between what Dr. Greger says and her team of doctors and that tends to put us in a type of denial. It is hard to let go of the defensiveness and interact in an open-hearted, open-minded way.

              If that woman can, she could suddenly have so much to bring to the table, because of her child’s experience and she could enrich us all, rather than throw verbal stones at Dr. Greger. Same thing with Jimbo. If he suddenly interacted with Dr. Greger on this site as a resource and just brought up what he is interested in understanding, he could suddenly bless everybody, but I mean it that it is good for Dr. Greger to stay humble and people like Jimbo keep him on guard.

              If everybody just exalted Dr. G and he got arrogant, it would hurt the cause.

              Hoping for Jimbo to get past it.

              Sometimes, people can get past whatever is triggering them and suddenly, you can have a person with a good mind show up and add something to the equation.

              The internet is this strange phenomenon. In person, most people “hold their tongue” and “act polite” maybe because they are looking into the eyes of the person or because other people are watching. The internet is almost mob rule except for the concept of moderators. People just say whatever they think without any kindness or consideration. Angry people just go for the punch below the belt and put down Dr. Greger as a doctor or put down his manhood. I know that the same people probably don’t do that at work during the day. The internet is more people sitting around in their underwear or something and no, I am not doing that. I am just using it as an example that people just aren’t the same people they are out at church or school or work. Then, they come home and kick the dog and take a cheap shot at whoever they are frustrated with on the internet.

              Society teaches everybody just to lash out and Dr. Greger doesn’t deserve that. He is working hard and when people bring studies or points out the need for something to be corrected, he swoops down and acknowledges them. I appreciate that and I genuinely appreciate how much work it takes to make even one of these videos and that he tries to be entertaining and tries to have several professional videos every week. That is not easy. He has to read all of those studies and find the topics and write the scripts and choose the visuals and do the recording and edit everything together.

              I edited some student films in LA and I have edited audio with a radio announcer friend and at church and I have edited photos with a photography website and doing one photo or one interview or one 5 minute film can take forever. Him doing things like having the pot video be 4 minutes and 20 seconds long or other things is a benefit, which we couldn’t request from anybody.

              I am still reading all these PubMed articles and he is reading all of those food journals and I can spend hours just bouncing off each topic.

              And it is all for free.

              He has helped me so much and I genuinely do appreciate hearing the opposite perspective, but I like that perspective to be presented politely and with respect, if possible.

              1. I started reading the eye link.

                I will have to read that one a few times.

                Noticing that they said that the Mediterranean diet didn’t help and that has the oils, which harm the endothelials, so it is the pictures Dr. Swank presented, I think. (I think it was him who did the effects of oil on eyes.)

                I will have to read it a few times. I just paused that the Mediterranean diet came up a few times and they were specifically mentioning Olive Oil and I would expect that to harm, not help anyway.

                Thanks for posting it, Tom!

                I am interested in eye health.

                My dog wasn’t slipping tonight and I kept the steroids low but increased the CBD oil.

                I did it because both the steroids and CBD oil are supposed to help with pain relief and I am not sure whether lowering the steroids increased the pain, so I have decided to try this first and see if he stops slipping.

                Zero slips today.

                He isn’t dead yet, but I don’t feel like I have gotten rid of the Cancer.

                I have bested the results of surgery, and he didn’t have surgery, so he should have been dead months ago.

              2. Just thought about what Dr. Greger is doing again.

                He is writing books. Books plural.

                I have helped people write scripts and edit scripts and edit books and go through the publishing process and that is already so much work.

                When I was out in California, it could take people years plural to write a single script or edit a 5-minute film. I got to be part of that process at every end. I held the boom and catered and cast and helped with the writing and editing and sound mixing and clicked the little clicker and went to the film festivals. I was the gal Friday type, who just found it interesting and once you give free help to one poor student, other poor students need someone to paint their sets, or look at all their headshots or stay up until 4 in the morning editing, too.

                This whole process being done here is a lot of work, including Dr. Greger not getting defensive and him dealing with fame and with having a target on his back.

                The public speaking end and being in movies and doing the Ted Talk and being on Kelly and Ryan and doing the special he posted was it the Discovery Channel or something.

                Again, I have had multiple friends do cable access programs and just those were so much work and we didn’t have the hecklers.

                I respect it all.

                I laugh because I looked at How Not To Die and I could put my friends’ books up next to it and that is so long and so packed with technical information. The concept of translating THAT document into all these other languages is mindboggling. My close friend translated letters from a famous man from French to English and the conversation on how to word the “kisses” greeting was so extensive, because the Americans don’t greet each other with the kisses, except in letters and love and with little kids and not all of the letters were to romantic people. One word seriously took all night to figure out.

                I just do appreciate all of it as a craft and as something, which is benefiting me personally.

                1. Tom,

                  These topics, like Melatonin frustrate me, too.

                  I spent weeks researching it from the Cancer end and I am not going to have had ones come up saying raises blood sugar or could cause Diabetes until I specifically researched from that wording!

                  This process is so difficult for that reason.

                  I remember feeling that with green tea for my dog. People genuinely had their dog go into remission with green tea and I found so many good result studies and then, suddenly I find one where 14 dogs died no matter how low the dosage and they closed the study early.

                  The first glance at that study, I wanted to not read it. Then, the curious side wanted to know the results. Then the results said the first dog died in 9 days and suddenly I wanted to know every detail.

                  I understand why people get angry or frustrated.

            2. That’s a really good article, Tom. Thanks for going off-topic. One thing I particularly like about the LPI articles is the bibliography with links to pubmed articles. I was interested to find that in 2017 meta analysis fruits and veggies were equal in their health promoting effects, and that apples were by far the fruit most associated with health.

              1. It has a name.

                At a human level, I understand confirmation bias.

                Mostly, when people listen to all the experts, they choose the ones they like.

                They also form hunches based on anecdotal experiences.

                My friends and family aren’t willing to give up eating meat, so they start with my elderly relatives who all lived into their early 90’s and they ate cake and drank soda and ate meat and some of them smoked and some of them drank and they come away with a moderation theory alternating with Keto. When they do Keto they lose weight and stop overeating and feel like their mind is sharper and and they can’t reconcilr any science study, which runs counter from their experiences.

                My vet believes so strongly in Keto for dogs that he can’t change his mind for humans. His science logic can’t think opposite and I couldn’t put my dog on Keto without changing my belief to that Keto kills Cancer. It might, but I am not undoing my WFPB perspective even if Keto does work, so I have the bias, too.

                1. Dr J,

                  The problem is that as a society, we have followed the studies back and forth and back and forth.

                  Vegan is how not to die in one part of society, then, there are a few studies where they die more often or just as often.

                  Carbs and mortality would be another, where there are studies and experts loudly shouting both positions.

                  The Pure Study on one side, other studies on another side and the opposing sides all accusing each other of manipulating data or biased studies or cherry picking.

                  I say this because disregarding the data may be a generation of people who have learned not to trust the data.

                  I have learned not to trust any of it, but I also have learned that after you reach that point, you have to make your best-never-going-to-be-educated-enough guess and go with it.

                  I watched Dr. Greger analyze the vegans dying study and was helped by it. Do I feel like he dotted every “i” or crossed every “t” and I can just trust that analysis as one, which will stand throughout time? I don’t trust any science that way.

                  1. Looking just at the topic of Melatonin, even on this site, there are doctors who don’t have problems with it and there was a parent of a child whose whole team of doctors prescribed it on his YouTube channel.

                    Is it that some of those doctors are disregarding the evidence or is it that the evidence, by nature only gives us a tip of the iceberg.

                    For instance, I could show you fabulous Melatonin and Cancer studies and fabulous studies that it might help or not help or help or not help epilepsy and autism and that may help, may not help, may help, may not help is the pattern I have heard with studies and doctors and other experts my whole life.

                    So, what does someone who has been burned over and over and over again by that pattern do? They take it all with a grain of salt and is wonderful Dr. Greger or his wonderful mentor, right about salt? Have you watched any discussion forums with the WFPB men? Dr. Furhman and Greger wanting maximum nutrition. Dr. McDougall thinking that people can eat too much nutrition and he quoted someone about that. How about B-12? Which Dr. got it wrong or is it all of them because it is so complex that they would have to put out an hour-long video to actually help people. I found whole textbooks Volume 2 of Taurine on-line. I wonder how many volumes Taurine has and how much of it will end up being contradictory?

                    That is why I genuinely feel compassion and pride for people like Jimbo because he comes here when supplements come up and he argues and that probably means that he is part of this audience and I would like him to be nicer to Dr. Greger, but I genuinely value that he will argue every point and that is how I test my own logic.

                    And if I am fair, I listen to these doctors arguing probably for years and they are on the same team.

                2. Deb, I bugged my vet (who is “science”-trained, after all,) to read “The China Study.” Then I was in his office on a Monday and was due back on the following Friday. He told me he already had the book–so I told him to “Read Chapter 1” by Friday. He kind of rolled his eyes, but did–and his partner read it–and 5 other people in the practice read it. You might try that approach? Just a thought. My old vet and his partner are retired now but I think they both follow Campbell’s advice now.

              2. Thanks Dr J.

                This ScienceDaily report from yesterday just caught my attention too and is relevant

                Here’s an extract

                ‘Ever wonder why flat earthers, birthers, climate change and Holocaust deniers stick to their beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary?
                New findings from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, suggest that feedback, rather than hard evidence, boosts people’s sense of certainty when learning new things or trying to tell right from wrong.
                Developmental psychologists have found that people’s beliefs are more likely to be reinforced by the positive or negative reactions they receive in response to an opinion, task or interaction, than by logic, reasoning and scientific data.
                Their findings, published today in the online issue of the journal Open Mind, shed new light on how people handle information that challenges their worldview, and how certain learning habits can limit one’s intellectual horizons.’

                1. | Tom Goff replied to Dr. J on How to Treat Jet Lag with Melatonin-Rich FoodTom, this is another example of a site which does all the right things on many fronts but systematically refuses to post any article about the problems with meat and dairy (at least from grass-fed animals). The site, which I have followed for many years, is clearly owned and/or run by livestock farmers with vested interests. So today they post a (relevant to us) article by Molly Scott Cato, a green politician and vegan (or very near vegan) – see link below – and they have also published various articles by green journalist George Monbiot (vegan activist) but never anything from them about food, and never anything questioning the human and planetary health benefits of animal products!

                  1. Thanks Annie.

                    I think that article was first published in The Guardian. As a conservative, I’ve always thought that The Guardian was only fit for wrapping fish and chips.

                    However, I think it illustrates the point that both right wing and left wing zealots are able to and do deny the evidence when it suits them. You’d think that a group styling itself ‘resilience’ would at least acknowledge the impact of the livetsock industries on climate change and environmental sustainability. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization does – so why are this lot closing their eyes to the facts?


                    1. … because they are themselves ranchers, or otherwise livestock farmers. Vested interests and industry pressure, once again. And I’m sure they genuinely believe that grass-fed animals are planet friendly and their meat/milk good for our health.
                      After 2006 (when the post you sent a link to was written), the FAO changed its tune quite a lot. For instance the recent GRAIN report explains that ‘The FAO was blasted by the meat industry after it released a report in 2006 putting livestock’s share of global GHG emissions at 18%. “You wouldn’t believe how much we were attacked”, said Samuel Jutzi, director of the animal production and health division of the FAO. The FAO soon buckled under the pressure and agreed to establish a partnership with the meat industry’s main lobby groups to jointly reassess emissions from livestock, Both the partnership’s Steering Committee and its Technical Advisory Groups are dominated by representatives of meat companies, their lobby groups and scientists funded by meat and dairy companies.
                      As a result of the FAO’s partnership with industry, it has shifted its focus towards a narrow assessment of “emissions intensity”, in which GHG emissions are examined per unit of output (per kg of meat, litre of milk or unit of protein). Measured this way, animals that are intensively raised for maximum output of meat and milk—by a few million farmers mostly in the US, Europe, Brazil, New Zealand and a few other rich countries—have a lower “emissions intensity” than the animals of poor farmers, which are raised for many more uses and without access to the high protein feed, antibiotics, growth promoters and hormones used by intensive livestock industries. Poor farmers are thus said to suffer from an “emissions intensity gap” and should be pushed into what is termed “sustainable intensification” or, more broadly, “climate smart agriculture”’.

                      The more recent major FAO report on livestock’s impacts (Tackling climate change through livestock) was indeed the work of a team which included the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation, the International Dairy Federation, the International Meat Secretariat, the International Egg Commission, and the International Poultry Council, among others (see for instance ‘additional comments’ here:

                      I am not conservative (but conservationist) and find the Guardian rather too influenced by corporate interests – as the vast majority of large media are – but hey, it’s great we have some common ground in valuing truthful information!

    2. Jimbo I Think the dr talked about timing of these mostly for jet lag, not insomnia. I also Don’t think they prescribe big meals as a sleep aid, but they do make us sleepy short term.

      Babies start learning to fight sleep at only a few months old, and so people can fight the effects of melatonin quite easily, so your argument about car wrecks is weak, as is the fact of daylight and tension will counter the effects being relaxed and allowing sleep.

      1. Everyone always worries, but I don’t have a problem falling asleep while driving. However, I was recently driving home after bringing my son to college. It was midnight, and my son had given me a big bag of pistachios before I left for home. If you guessed that I had a very hard time staying awake, you’d be right.

    3. Really Jimbo? Literally centuries of evidence of people eating pistachios and having their sleep measured? Smh… Just because people ate pistachios for, well… as long as there were people and as long as there were pistachios, and you never heard of a car pile up due to pistachio intake doesn’t exactly trump actual scientific data… Good think Dr. Greger is the one making the videos here!

      Haven’t you been paying attention? Of course something in a whole plant food form isn’t going act like a drug where our bodies can be forced into sleep whether we like it or not, the design of a whole plant food and the design of our bodies is more clever than that. When we get nutrients from ingesting the foods that we were made to consume, our bodies have amazing capabilities of regulating everything as needed. Therefore, you’re not going to overdose on melatonin from eating nuts or berries.

  14. Have u suffered with carotenemia or lycopenemia ? I have yellow skin in my palm, body, feet but not in my eyes. I’m sure I didn’t have problem with thyroid. I eat tomatoes and carrot everyday. Which food can get rid of it?

    1. Aim, I, too, had yellowish palms/skin, and my boss sent me to my doctor since she was worried about my liver! My doctor did blood tests and found nothing wrong. I attribute it to my high vegetable intake. Take a look at these: (On this URL, click on “Ask the Doctor” and read the answer to his question about skin color and carotenemia.)

  15. Hi, Aim. You did not say how many tomatoes and carrots you are eating every day. Unless you are eating a very large amount, the signs you mention would be unlikely in the absence of an underlying medical cause. You say you are sure you don’t have a thyroid problem, so I assume you have had your thyroid levels checked. If you are eating very large amounts of these foods, then I would suggest cutting back, rather than eliminating them completely. If you are not eating very large amounts of them, then I would suggest seeing a doctor to determine the underlying cause of your yellow skin.
    You can find out more about this here:
    I hope that helps!

  16. I was taken aback by the recent press coverage of the McMaster University meat study in Canada which suggests moderate daily meat and cheese consumption together with 3-4 servings of vegetable confers better protection from heart disease than vegetables alone:

    I’m curious to know if the study is flawed, or if not, why it appears to fly in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary?

    1. This from the TH Chan Harvard School of medicine shows the various criticisms of the study.

      Basically the read on carbohydrates in large part includes those of very low income. who subsist on basically rice only diets, which due to nutritional deficiency leads to higher mortality and the data obtained from self reported source conflicts with the data found in other study, particularly in China, which was roughly a third of the participants.
      Their self reported fat intake data does not align with other data in other study derived from other source on a Chinese population.

      1. To elaborate a bit. The same type of bias was existant years ago to hormonal replacement therepy to counter post menopausal symptoms in women. Some select population studies were expressing less outcome in mortality and other indicators.

        It is now a known many of these substances are productive of increased risk of disease to include breast cancer.
        The reason for the initial misread which actually showed benefit, but now is widely known as a misread of data….richer women were having the replacement therepy done and then the tell was on rich status and accessabiliity to health care not on the threat. Poor did not have equal access to health care and treatment for diagnostic means and initial treatment.

        So income and accessability to health care are important factors to have as a control in population data. If not we get a misread. Now if the study further defines carbohydrates as to type, amount consumed, on a equal basis for health care provision and self reported data is consistant with other known retrievals from other study, we may then get a more accurate determination.
        Soda and kale are both carb based. But they widely differ as to expectant health outcome when consumed. You want to paint carbs as bad…simply do a study on how those who consume soda as the chief form of carb intake produces negative health outcome. And then publish it as that…carbs are bad study shows so. But is it a read on carbs or those who consume soda as chief nutrient?

        So income and specific consumption must be considered if we want to find a thing and not simply sell a point of view.

    2. What’s annoying about the results for this is first they talk about how fruits veggies and legumes are are associated with lower cardiovascular risk–THEN they start breaking things up into Carb vs. Fat. vs…not protein but different types of fat. No mention of fiber whatsoever. I imagine that dietary “FAT” is not necessarily bad for people (in general) assuming there is fiber coming along with it, when I track my macros my fat consumption is usually over 30% when my main sources of food are beans and nuts…usually protein is surprisingly low (have to switch to lentils for that!) I think daily intake of meat and cheese is likely overkill, but I live in America where portion sizes are already out of whack and animals are abused before being processed for food and people lump whole grains and fruit into the same category as cake.

    3. | Peter Kater commented on How to Treat Jet Lag with Melatonin-Rich FoodPeter, I’m also looking forward to reading comments from experts on this study – but I can already note that among the funders are “unrestricted grants from several pharmaceutical companies, with major contributions from AstraZeneca, Sanofi-Aventis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Servier and GlaxoSmithkline, and additional contributions from Novartis and King Pharma and from various organisations which include: Brazil: Unilever Health Institute (…)”. I see that previous results from the PURE study have been the object of various critiques such as Marion Nestle: The PURE study warrants some skepticism and and Fat wars: diet docs have Salim Yusuf in the cross hairs [no access it seems outside US]

    4. In addition to Ron’s comments, you might want to bear in mind that

      1. McMaster University is a ‘partner’ of the Canadian dairy industry

      2. Highly respected experts in nutrition have made various criticisms of the conclusions advanced by the authors of this study. As well as the Harvard critique noted by Ron, you may want to look at these

      1. Sorry, I have should have credited Annie with mentioning the article by Marion Nestle first.

        Here is a Wikipedia article on Nestle. I think she was also a member of the 1995 US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committees – every 5 years, the US Government issues udated dietary guidelines based (to an extent) on lengthy scientific reports by an expert panel termed the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

      2. It is quite extraordinary to see the power of the meat and dairy lobbies (as well as big pharmaceutical companies) within academia and politics. See for instance the recent ‘Emissions impossible’ report from GRAIN( ). It says: “Corporate influence on climate and agriculture policy It is hard to overstate the omnipresence of big meat and dairy executives in government policy circles and their corresponding influence on agriculture and climate change policy. In the U.S., both of the top officials nominated by President Trump to deal with climate change—Sonny Perdue, as the Secretary of Agriculture, and Scott Pruitt, as the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency—are climate sceptics with close ties to the agribusiness lobby. Meanwhile, as an example of the revolving door between government and agribusiness, the Secretary of Agriculture under President Obama, Tom Vilsack, is now the CEO of the U.S. dairy export lobby. Meat and dairy lobby groups brought negative attention to bear on the FAO after the UN body was the first to publish findings on the global emissions of the meat and dairy industry in 2006. “You wouldn’t believe how much we were attacked,” said Dr. Samuel Jutzi, then the director of the FAO’s Animal Production and Health Division, describing the industry’s reaction to its findings. Jutzi said that powerful lobby groups subsequently blocked and derailed actions at his organisation with the support of a few governments. The FAO eventually brought the main meat and dairy company lobby groups into a partnership to reassess the FAO’s climate emissions data and analysis.We are not going to achieve these radical transformations of our food system without a fight with the big meat and dairy companies. These are powerful actors with deep political connections, working hand in hand with governments to protect their interests. Breaking their grip will require a big, collective movement of farmers, workers and consumers. This is a movement that has been building for some time but has struggled to overcome the political power of the corporations. Climate change brings a new urgency to our organising efforts”.

        Also, from last week, an article on the tactics of the dairy lobby in Canada:

        1. Yes bu it is fascinating to observe that the dietary saturated fat apologists and others still like to claim that it isin reality saturated fat and sodium that are ‘demonised’ and ‘vilified’ by powerful but shadowy vested interests. I don’t think that they are sock-puppets of the meat and dairy industries. I suspct that most of them genuinely believe this stuff It just seems like crazy talk to me but perhaps many people really aren’t interested in what the totality of the evidence shows. They just want confirmation of their opinions.

          You mentioned the FAO. The World Health Organization is also regularly attacked by people connected with various business interests. As the then Director General of the WHO observed back in 2013

          ‘Today, getting people to lead healthy lifestyles and adopt healthy behaviours faces opposition from forces that are not so friendly. Not at all.

          Efforts to prevent noncommunicable diseases go against the business interests of powerful economic operators. In my view, this is one of the biggest challenges facing health promotion.

          As the new publication makes clear, it is not just Big Tobacco anymore. Public health must also contend with Big Food, Big Soda, and Big Alcohol. All of these industries fear regulation, and protect themselves by using the same tactics.

          Research has documented these tactics well. They include front groups, lobbies, promises of self-regulation, lawsuits, and industry-funded research that confuses the evidence and keeps the public in doubt.

          Tactics also include gifts, grants, and contributions to worthy causes that cast these industries as respectable corporate citizens in the eyes of politicians and the public. They include arguments that place the responsibility for harm to health on individuals, and portray government actions as interference in personal liberties and free choice.

          This is formidable opposition. Market power readily translates into political power. Few governments prioritize health over big business. As we learned from experience with the tobacco industry, a powerful corporation can sell the public just about anything.

          Let me remind you. Not one single country has managed to turn around its obesity epidemic in all age groups. This is not a failure of individual will-power. This is a failure of political will to take on big business.’

          1. I agree with you yet still believe that the apologists you mention are indirectly “sock-puppets of the meat and dairy industries” (as well as others, such as the pharmaceuticals).They probably haven’t had access to the “ totality of the evidence”. It takes time, motivation, dedication and perhaps some scientific knowledge, or at least sufficient interest in the science, to get to this! Thanks for the link to the WHO speech. It says for instance that “industry-funded research confuses the evidence and keeps the public in doubt” and also that “[industry lobby] tactics include portraying government actions as interference in personal liberties and free choice”. So the industries have many subtle ways of influencing opinions.

            I live in the UK where we have a ‘Sustainable Food Trust’, seen as super green and in favour of all the right things for human and planetary health. Yet it has been founded and is run by a dairy farmer and evidence of problems with meat and dairy consumption is systematically discarded on the site. Once again I commented recently on an article that posted a number of untruths (citing for instance the PURE study we are dialoguing about) but my comment, which was very courteous but listed a number of studies disagreeing with the author, has not been published… Misinformation prevails!

        2. This is exactly what T Colin Campbell talks about. He was involved in high level commissions and brought his scientific expertise to the table, but was outgunned by the meat and dairy henchmen who got their way because there were more of them making the decisions.

    5. Hi Peter Kater,

      I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thank you so much for your question on this controversial study.

      The study found that those eating higher fat and lower carbohydrate diets tended to live longer than those who are low fat and high carbohydrate diets. However, there are some significant key methodological issues that need to be mentioned before premature conclusions are made.

      1) The researchers lumped together all carbohydrates as equal. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are in the same category as sugars and refined grains. It is important to remember that carbohydrate quality is an important distinction to make with foods, and this study did not account for that.

      2) The researchers compared those who ate low-carb diets (46% of daily calories) to those who ate high-carb diets (77% of daily calories). The very high carbohydrate content of some participants diets also potentially indicates that these individuals lived in a more impoverished living condition, which could be skewing the results.

      3) The researchers also found that substituting saturated fat for carbohydrate was not associated with improved mortality, but that substituting polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) for carbohydrates was associated with improved mortality rates. We also know from randomized controlled trials that substituting PUFAs for carbohydrates or for saturated fats tends to improve cardiovascular risk factors.

      4) This study was done across 18 countries, which increases the likelihood of a multitude of factors coming into play between participants, and muddying the waters in terms of finding out the true causes of improved or compromised mortality.

      I hope this helps to answer your question!

  17. If your consumption of fat is limited to things like avocados there may be some basis to your overall claim. If your source of fat is of the processed kind, little suggest a corresponding equal amount of fiber, such as in eating perhaps a whole grain bread dipped in oi,l is going to present health benefit or a neutral by removing the negative of the oil itself with the fiber present in the bread.

    Little also suggest how a animal is kept or slaughtered affects saturated fat or cholesterol percent in animal meats, which is a known hazard for heart disease of the artery plaque forming kind. It may affect this to a very small or limited degree.
    Agree with your mention of cake and fruits and veggies.

  18. Hi Mostly vegan ron in New Mexico!
    Actually, yes you’ll notice the fat content in 1oz of walnuts is 18g, and there are about 10g in a cup of edamame, 6g in 2 Tbs Flax seeds, 4.5g in a cup of mushrooms. So, people can have higher fat in their diets than they realize (especially if eating nuts). Personally, I do end up eating about an avocado a day. I often use avocados or ground pine nuts to replace where cheese once had a spot on my plate. Also, I rarely make my own hummus, so I’m aware I have higher fat coming in from that source. On top of that I will allow myself up to 1Tbs oil if I’m below significantly my caloric goal by dinner…and I love chocolate so sometimes that is a factor in my macros…at the end of the week though, what matters most to ME is did I eat enough fiber (from whole food sources). I’m far from perfect, but I was surprised to see on my BEST days the fat content that was adding up.
    What I don’t like about (what I can see) from this study are many of the points I see you already made; but also, in their video, they talk about Food, and then they talk about Macros, like they are the same thing. A claim coming from this study is Saturated Fat is NOT -as bad as we thought?- but we all know that coconut oil and milk has saturated fat in it–so I don’t like that they didn’t say where the fat was coming from, just that more fat wasn’t bad. Also, I imagine the health conscious american eating 3 servings of chicken a day with lots of veggies and access to healthcare/clean water/clean air/ other medical treatment is going to fair better than someone without medical resources, surrounded by environmental pollutants, and eating mostly white rice with little to no meat.
    My point about poorly treated livestock wasn’t to say that it would change the way “saturated fat” works when consumed. It IS to point out that there may be outlaying factors that we can’t/haven’t controlled for in studies where people are eating meat. How do the different hormone levels animals have when they are raised and slaughtered effect US when we eat them? They don’t? Are you sure? It looks like we can be effected by the melatonin (hormone) levels in pistachios so I wouldn’t doubt there are others we are unaware of or haven’t proven yet.

    1. You make a lot of great points. I wanted to point out that milk may have sat fat but it also has pus, so pus may make the inflammation of the milk worse than other sources.

      Also in nature fat is often bound in small doses so it’s probably easy for the body to get enough and almost everyone in the USA eats fat too much, but they also eat fat too much free sugars. People in this group dog on fat, but seem to give free sugar a pass. And consumed together are horrible.

    2. If one consumes fat from natural sources, such as fat in nuts, avocado not processed coconut, and things of that sort, my guess is that the negative effect is far lesser and in a healthy group of peoples(not those with existent heart disease or coronary artery disease) , the negatives may be equal to the positives have no effect or even perhaps depending on type consumed, a positive effect, and also in relationship to the individual.Some may show harm and some not.
      But I do take exception to the fiber portion of it. Fiber content being only seemingly a small part of the beneficial effects of such foods.

      AS to means of slaughter, there is some suggestion that means of slaughter may affect a result of the more predominance of some stress hormones in meat.
      Living of life of the animal prior to slaughter… there is some difference in the nutritional composite of grain fed as opposed to grass fed beef for instance. A study by Texas A and M attests to that. But the study also suggest the changes are present but in a minimal sort translatable to human consumption. Slaughter itself is rarely able to be performed without the animal knowing, only in perhaps rural hunting type endeavors, in which the animal is shot in the head at a distance. That does not exist in commercial food source.

      Sat fat is bad for us consumed to any excess, which may mean very little. The notion sat fat from meat, is not the same as sat fat from plant, is to a extend correct by my opinion. But it is that my opinion considers the sat fat present in plant, may also contain things which remediate inflammatory response and have other effects which are just not found in meat. It is then not that sat fat is good in plants, and bad in meats, but other things in plant composition may remediate the bad effect of sat fat.
      I do personally think a small amount of plant sat fat consumption in a WFPB diet is not unhealthy. But it is a personal opinion based in part on the commonality of cholesterol type compounds found in our immune system components. I also eat a bit of chocolate vegan no sugar daily.

      So I think we may agree mostly but for different cause.

      1. I will add that in the hunting community it is well known that deer must have the forelegs cut off almost immediately upon the kill. Or the meat, the rest of the animal will become contaminated considered spoiled and unable to be eaten, developing a funky smell.
        Do other animals have a similar such mechanism which we do not identify as we do not taste or smell it… I would say it is possible.
        Is it harmful to human…well meat itself is probably not a healthful thing to eat other than rarely and very occasionally many studies suggest.

        Could a thing like that be a part of it…?
        So on such a basis I would not summarily discount your mention of this.

  19. Awesome videos on melatonin. The first was brilliant at exposing the literal horrors of the supplement industry… 2018 and people can’t even be sure the pill they’re buying is what it freaking says it is?! Our world is a stupid joke. Anyways, nature is amazing… TWO PISTACHIOS! Lol, two little nuts put all these pharmacists and vitamin shop folk to shame.

    I would love to see more on melatonin and serotonin and how to naturally boost levels and balance hormones in general for a plethora of reasons, but lately I’ve been reading a bit about how both melatonin and serotonin act as antioxidants in our bodies in some interesting ways.

  20. Wow, great information as usual! I had no idea melatonin was toxic. so I have been autotoxifying in the past thinking, “Oh wow, such a great anti-oxidant. Alas, I have been doing a lot of traveling the last year and a half through many time zones and it just so happens that pistachios are one of my favorite nuts!! Tnaks Dr. Gregor for another life changing video!

  21. In my old age I have developed sleep problems, most times waking at 3 or 4 am, sometimes not going to sleep until 1 or 2 am, even though I go to bed at the same time. Last night while watching the first game of the super bowl (Go Sox!) I poured about 1/2 cup of shelled pistashio nuts into a bowl and munched away.
    While I couldn’t make it to the end of the game, I went to sleep at 11 and woke at 6 a.m., the longest uninterrupted sleep I’ve had since I don’t know when. Coincidence? I hope not. If I can just get my body reintroduced to this 11 to 6 routine, I’d like to NOT have to take the nuts. But then maybe I can get by with eating only 2 pistashios like the doc said.

    1. Try adding a sleep mask or blackout curtains too. Sleep mask for me, add another level of sleep quality, I don’t usually get without it. And I can very easily oversleep while wearing it. I too, like you, wake up at odd times and can’t go back to sleep, but the mask helps about as much as anything I’ve tried.


  22. Oh dear, it’s the old age thing again. I watched the world series not the super bowl, although I’m looking forward to that in a few months. Go Patriots.

  23. For people in the UK you can get “Bradbury’s pistachio nuts” which are unroasted from Home and Bargain or Poundland retail outlets.

    £1.99 for 175g.

    On the ingredient’s it simply says ‘Pistachio Nuts in Shell (100%)’.
    You will notice they are slightly waxy tasting, unsalted and green – i.e. not roasted.

    Will be putting it to the test tonight!

  24. Pistachios are heat treated. So are corn, rice and oats… Would be great with some clarification about heat stability or melatonin content in heat treated pistachios…

  25. A person,

    Your absolutely correct as nuts in the US are required to be pasteurized by some method, with the exception of small farms.

    With that in mind check out the lack of difference in Fatty aides with roasting and frying of pistachios at: A Comprehensive Study on the Effect of Roasting and Frying on Fatty Acids Profiles and Antioxidant Capacity of Almonds, Pine, Cashew, and Pistachio
    Tree nut phytochemicals: composition, antioxidant capacity, bioactivity, impact factors. A systematic review of almonds, Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts

    Where they found:
    “It has been recognized that roasting is potentially destructive to phytochemicals. Bolling et al.(89) found that roasting decreased total phenol content and FRAP values in almonds, but did not change concentrations of flavonoids.”

    On the concern regarding melatonin and heat: The effect of variations in pH and temperature on stability of melatonin in aqueous solution suggests that it would not be a large issue. There was very little info on this subject….

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger

    1. Sorry I can’t answer the recent question but as this conversation is still alive, I am still curious to know whether any one experiences strange effects from consuming pistachios – or knows someone who does? I don’t have any other kind of sensitivities or allergies to any food, and certainly not to any other nut or seed (and I eat lots!), but pistachios make me feel very strange, in an unpleasant way: I feel ungrounded, with slight nausea and tiredness. Could this be the melatonine (which doesn’t give me those effects, though there could be some resemblance…). Anyone knows whether the effect might disappear if kept trying to eat pistachios (as I love their taste) or on the contrary should I stay well off them? I normally do the latter but once in a while try them again, and the effect is still there…

      1. Hi Annie! I think I feel better sleep wise when I walk along the wet shore line every day for 30 minutes. Perhaps there’s an area where you can connect to the bare earth. Perhaps wet grass? []

        Dr Sinatra MD. Benefits of Earthing. Dr. Sinatra talks about earthing and it’s benefits. TV Interview. Please support our show and buy a full length copy of the show on Amazon. Please press the like button and share.

          1. I haven’t either, but you can be allergic to just about anything. And different people react differently to different allergens. It’s probably better not to eat something you’re having a reaction to.

                1. I eat few and very rarely since I always get the unpleasant reaction but love their taste so I just try from time to time in the hope that the reaction will have disappeared… I have been vegan for over 30 years, love nuts of all kinds and eat a lot of them generally, without any problem except with pistachios.

  26. Is the melatonin in pistachios the same as the melatonin in the skin that causes skin to go dark ? So would your skin go darker eating pistachios?

  27. Hi Cheryl Lewington – Thanks for your question! You are correct that pistachios do contain melatonin (which is a hormone), however melatonin is different from melanin. Melanin is the pigment in skin that allows our skin to tan or become darker. Melatonin and melanin are unrelated and therefore eating pistachios will not make your skin turn darker!

    Janelle RD – Registered Dietitian & Health Support Volunteer

  28. Great video !
    Thank toy Dr. Greger !

    I would like to ask one question.
    In the end it is referred that “So, taking a whole handful of pistachio nuts is like taking one of those high-dose melatonin supplements”.

    How many grammars are a “handful of pistachio nuts” ?

    Thanks in advance for your time

    Best Regards

  29. The study mentioned was deemed faulty by independent labs from germany after some legal quarrels with an over the counter supplier of melatonin supplements. In a legal report the melatonin content of pistachios was retested and no (!) melatonin was found. The original article is in german here’s some info in english

    Are there other sources that corroborate the claim that pistachios are high in melatonin? Did any other labs that you know of test pistachio nuts for their melatonin content? It’s relevant to mention that the one (and only) study you mention originated from Iran, the main exporter of pistachio nuts…

    I’m not doubting that pistachios are a healthy snack. I eat them regularly but I have never noticed any sleepiness at all.

  30. Dear Dr. Greger, I appreciate your scientific work very much. On the specific theme I rechecked for the actual content of melatonin in pistachios and found a link from medwatch that disputed the article you are citing. Actually there was pharmaceutical company, that used this article in a court trial to get the permission to produce a high concentration melatonin drug. Anyway, in the process an official analysis was done, which showed that there is no melatonin at all in pistachios. One could think, that the Iranian researches might be biased to sell their produce.

    I´d be happy, if you could give a comment on your estimation of this matter.

    The publication of medwatch is (unfortunately German):


    1. though anecdotal, i have ate 30 to 40 raw pistachios dozens of times and sleep wasn’t improved. i have yet hear anyone mention pistachios for improved sleep. maybe this video is misleading

  31. I’ve come to rely on Dr. Greger and the team at NF over the last 6 months as I’ve been transitioning to a WFPB diet.
    This video and the fact that NF hasn’t taken it down in the face of its obvious false claims and skimpy method is disconcerting and disheartening to me.
    Doubts about the Iranian pistachio results here make the claim in this video unreliable
    Leaving this video on the site and on youtube only serves to push bad science out to the public and gives fuel to those who denigrate the WFPB project.
    I wish NF would be completely dedicated to only the highest-quality peer-reviewed studies. Apparently they are not.

  32. Those interested in pistachios and Melatonin should note that only two studies have found them to be rich in melatonin. One was done in Iran, a major pistachio exporting country, and another study was done in the U.S in partnership with American Pistachio Growers, a trade association in the Pistachio industry. Since then, questions have been raised regarding the results of these studies. Not enough independent studies have been carried out yet to give solid enough evidence for people to go out and buy nuts for this purpose. For more info, search ‘Nicola Kuhrt’ for MedWatch and RetractionWatch regarding the topic.

  33. Word of caution on the amount of melatonin found in pistachios.

    The high amounts have only been found in ONE study where the results have not been able to be repeated and have been disputed by the German Federal Institute for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL). The BVL retested pistachios from the same region as the study and could not find the same amounts.

    The editors of the research article have pulled the pdf copy of the pistachio paper and replaced it with an Erratum statement found here—-just click on the “Download PDF” button for the study found here:

    1. People have amazingly varied reactions to melatonin supplements. Some years back I was doing an alternative cancer therapy and the doctor put me on 20 mg of melatonin, I think for its’ antioxidant value. It never did even make me sleepy!

  34. You mention in your video that well-timed pistachio eating can help jet lag. If I’d like to try eating two before bed to see if it helps me sleep, do you have any recommendations for the timing? How soon before bed should I eat two pistachios?
    Thanks for your time.

  35. It is mentioned in this video that drying fruits, wipes out the melatonin, such as with dried cranberries, and presumably with all fruits. Yet this is in contrast to the statement made elsewhere on your website that says:

    “Goji berries have the highest concentrations of melatonin and the third-highest antioxidant capacity of any common dried fruit—five times more than raisins and second only to dried pomegranate seeds and barberries.”

    Can you clarify please?

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