Nutrition Bytes: June 2022

Better Sleep and Less Stress with Black Seed Oil

Sleep problems affect nearly 25 percent of U.S. adults, but a new study suggests relief may come from an unsuspecting supplement. Black seed oil, commonly known for its anti-inflammatory and immune supportive benefits, has been found in a recent study to significantly improve sleep. The study included 15 subjects with significant sleep problems who were given 200 mg of black seed oil for 28 days. The supplement was standardized to contain five percent thymoquinone, which is the most studied phytonutrient in black seed oil. Several measures of sleep were analyzed before, during, and after the 28-day period.

Better Sleep and Less Stress with Black Seed OilThe study found black seed oil improved several markers of sleep in as little as seven days. Benefits included improved sleep quality; sleep latency, measured by the total time it took subjects to fall asleep; and enhanced time of deep sleep. Additionally, subjects saw significant improvements in REM and non-REM sleep, both of which are a necessary part of a healthy sleep cycle. As a secondary measure, black seed oil was also found to reduce stress and anxiety scores in subjects at the end of the 28-day study.

The researchers believe the benefits of black seed oil could be attributed to thymoquinone, which has been shown in other studies to reduce cortisol, a hormone which plays a central role in both stress and sleep. This study adds to the growing body of research on the health benefits of black seed oil, which now includes better sleep and decreased stress.1

‌Resveratrol Improves Pain, Wellbeing in Postmenopausal Women

Recent research has found that regular resveratrol supplementation reduces chronic pain and improves general wellbeing in postmenopausal women. The study is the fourth and final installment of Resveratrol Supporting Healthy Aging in Women (RESHAW), which is the largest, longest-running study of its kind with resveratrol. The first three peer-reviewed publications from the RESHAW study reported cognitive benefits, as well as bone mineral density improvements, in postmenopausal women.

Woman smilingThe study, published in The Journal of The North American Menopause Society, details a 24-month placebo-controlled trial of resveratrol supplementation (75 mg, twice daily) conducted in 125 postmenopausal women. Subjects completed six questionnaires that assessed their perceptions of general wellbeing, which included pain, mood and depressive symptoms, menopausal symptoms, sleep quality, and quality of life.  Resveratrol supplementation was found to reduce overall pain score, especially in overweight individuals, menopausal symptoms, and improve general wellbeing.

The outcomes of this and the other RESHAW studies show that resveratrol supplementation holds far-reaching benefits for postmenopausal women.2


  1. Das S, S., R, K., George, S., PS, B. C., Maliakel, B., Ittiyavirah, S., & IM, K. (2021). Thymoquinone-rich black cumin oil improves sleep quality, alleviates anxiety/stress on healthy subjects with sleep disturbances– A pilot polysomnography study. Journal of Herbal Medicine, 100507.
  2. Thaung Zaw, Jay Jay MBBS1; Howe, Peter R.C. PhD1,2,3; Wong, Rachel H.X. PhD1,2 Long-term resveratrol supplementation improves pain perception, menopausal symptoms, and overall well-being in postmenopausal women: findings from a 24-month randomized, controlled, crossover trial, Menopause: January 2021 - Volume 28 - Issue 1 - p 40-49 doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001643