Health Advice



For royally good health, don't eat like a king!

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

At Versailles, King Louis the XIV (1638-1715) -- aka the Sun King -- didn't eat dinner until 10 p.m., and it was a massive meal. Then at 11:30 p.m., not long after completing the feast, he headed to his bed chamber, where his going-to-bed ceremony was a public ritual. He developed debilitating gout as an adult, because his royal habits did him few favors. He ultimately died at 77 of gangrene, having been king for 72 years.

Although Louis XIV endured for decades, he was miserable physically and emotionally -- and we now know that his habit of eating too close to retiring contributed to that. Some Sun King!

A study in Diabetes Care reveals that eating (especially carbs) close to bedtime, when your level of the hormone melatonin is high, interferes with insulin secretion and elevates your glucose levels significantly. The researchers found that blood levels of melatonin are 350% higher late in the day and if a meal is eaten when the hormone is pumped up, insulin levels fall by almost 7% and glucose levels go up more than 8%. That sends diabetes out of control.

What is melatonin? It's a hormone your brain produces in response to darkness. It helps with the timing of your circadian rhythms (24-hour internal clock) and with your sleep-wake cycle -- and perhaps much more.

The study findings reinforce what I've been saying: Eat when the sun shines, take in most of your calories before 3 p.m. and limit your food intake to an eight-to-10-hour window.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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