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Dietary Sources of Melatonin


Melatonin is relatively ubiquitous in nature and can be found widespread in several animal and plant foods (1,2). Regardless of its origin and the biosynthetic pathways used to manufacture it, the chemical structure of melatonin in plants and animals is similar and bioidentical to what is found in humans (3). Read more

Plant Sources of Melatonin


Since its initial identification in plants in the mid-1990s, there have been subsequent references to melatonin (“phytomelatonin”) levels in various edible foods and medicinal herbs. However, its concentration is wide-ranging and inconsistent, dependent upon many factors such as cultivars, growing conditions, germination, harvesting, and processing (e.g., roasting, drying) (1–3). Read more

Animal Sources of Melatonin


While there are several variables to consider, in general, melatonin is found relatively less in animal foods than in plant foods. Based on published literature, milk and dairy foods, eggs, fish, and meats (beef, lamb, pork) contain some level of melatonin (1). Read more


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The circadian release of melatonin is strongly suppressed by light, particularly blue light. Even light of five to ten lux while sleeping with eyes closed will impact the circadian system (1). Blue-light-blocking glasses can protect from the melatonin suppressing effects of light (2). Read more

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