News or Noise: Is that Turkey putting us to sleep?

November 21, 2018 11:45 PM

Thanksgiving turkey gets a bad rap, even Hollywood picks on the bird.  

Before you literally knock yourself out with that turkey on Thursday, let's take a look at the facts.


In a TODAY article, NBC News health and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom says, "The body can't produce tryptophan, so you must get it from your diet. Turkey is a good source, but so is cheese, chicken, fish, milk, peanuts, egg whites and more."

But eating these foods doesn't necessarily mean it's going to turn it into serotonin and put you to sleep.

That's because Fernstrom says other amino acids are competing with tryptophan to get into the brain, so "there's no impact on serotonin levels" with a turkey dinner.

If that's the case, then why do we usually feel so sleepy after our Thanksgiving feast? 

Fernstrom says that's because of changes in our metabolic activity during digestion. She says, "The body has signals to 'slow down' and digest the food as a priority." 

So this Thanksgiving, enjoy your turkey without fears of falling asleep at the table. 

This claim is all noise.  


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