Research Findings

Pine Nut Syndrome (PNS) – Alternatively termed as ‘Pine Mouth’

WHAT IS PNS?

  • Characterized by a delayed bitter / metallic-type taste disturbance
  • Occurs 1-3 days after the ingestion of good-tasting pine nuts
  • Symptoms mostly resolve within 1-2 weeks, some cases known to last for months
  • Amplified by food and drink intake
  • Dependent upon the type of food and the individual
  • Most people are susceptible to PNS but are affected to different extents.
  • Nature and intensity of the symptoms vary over the course of the episode, normally peaking within the first two days and tailing off at the end
  • Occasional complaints of headache, nausea, throat discomforts, diarrhea and stomach pains accompany the symptoms of taste disturbance

WHO GETS PNS?

PNS is a phenomenon that has affected large numbers of people from all walks of life. The 434 survey cases spanned 23 countries (4 continents) and involved people of different ethnicity, ages, genders, health conditions and lifestyles (activity levels, smokers/non-smokers; alcohol drinkers/ non-drinkers; diets). See page ‘Who Sold Them!‘ for a full list of countries and retailers that sold problem pine nuts.

Almost all victims (96% of total) have previously consumed pine nuts and have no known allergies towards it, 11% of whom reported experiencing PNS multiple times as they were unable to associate the problem to pine nuts in the past when there was less available information about this problem.

Reported cases of shared pine nuts mostly involved (1) all members of the group noticing symptoms OR (2) symptomatic individuals having consumed a larger quantity of pine nuts than the other members of the group [to be addressed in a moment].

Of 21 students and professors of Wageningen University that ingested 1g and 10g (the latter amount for those who did not get symptoms from 1g) from a supermarket batch consisting of 100% P. armandii pine nuts, 19 were afflicted with noticeable symptoms that were characteristic of PNS (subjects filled in a daily logbook describing their observations). The pine nuts ingested were within expiry date and tasted good at the time of ingestion (not rancid).

PINE NUTS THAT CAUSE PNS


Survey cases involved raw and/or roasted, rancid and non-rancid, fresh and stored, expired and non-expired pine nuts, mostly of Chinese origin except for Trader Joe’s pine nuts that labelled ‘Product of Russia and/or Korea’. The average estimated amount of pine nuts consumed was about 30g, with trigger dosages as low as 2 or 3 seeds. The 56 complaint samples collected were found to consist of pure P. armandii or a mixture of P. armandii with one or two of 6 other species (See page: ‘Pine Nut Species‘ for information on the different species).

Species composition of 56 complaint samples

DESCRIPTORS OF PNS SYMPTOMS

Bitter and bitter-metallic were most often used to describe the nature of the taste disturbance, although it was reported that the quality and intensity of the taste disturbance varied with different types of foods and at different stages of the PNS episode. (See page: ‘Food Effects’ for how the taste disturbance varies with different types of food). The chart below shows the frequency which other types of off-tastes were experienced.

Along with the taste disturbance, approximately 35% of the cases experienced other non-taste symptoms and these other symptoms have been represented in the chart below.

Both taste disturbance and these physical symptoms are often signals of underlying physiological disturbances and should not be so quickly dismissed as a non-health issue (as is done by many food authorities). No research proof of health problem does not equate no health problem! Please read the page on ‘Health Issue‘ for further explanations on the adverse impacts of PNS.

[Updated: 5 June 2011]

93 Responses to Research Findings

  1. Dorothea Scheierling says:

    Hello! I´m glad that I found this website. The “bitterness” got me right this morning, two days after eating the pinenuts. I hope it will disappear like its said here in the next weeks. Then I will answer all the questions.

  2. Sally Knowles says:

    Grace,
    I completed the survey yesterday but want to add some more information. I ate only three or four nuts and developed PMS within 18 hours. I was able to return the nuts to the store (I had purchased nearly a pound!) so I don’t have any to send you. Also, I was afraid to taste them again. Since then, I have eaten pesto made earlier in the summer with different pine nuts and have had no reaction to them.

    I don’t think I am officially a super taster, but there are two foods that are especially bitter to me: brussel sprouts and grapefruit. Those are about the only two foods I do not eat. However, in the last year I have found a few ways to prepare brussel sprouts that make them palatable to me.

    Hope this additional information is useful.

    Sally

    • grrrrracey says:

      Thank you girls for your enthusiasm and information! I’m currently very interested in the possibility that the genetic bitter taste sensitivity (PROP / PTC taster status) could be a reason for why only some people are affected by the incriminating pine nuts. I suppose that few know their PROP / PTC taster status, hence I’ve instead asked about general bitter taste sensitivity in the questionnaire– hopefully I’ll see some patterns there with sufficient responses on the survey :) It would be very interesting if I could manage to test all pine mouth sufferers and non-sufferers who ate the same batches of ‘problem pine nuts’ to see if this bitterness sensitivity is a factor!

      • Megan I says:

        I am currently suffering from pine mouth, and my friends and family can tell you that I am less sensitive to bitter tastes than the average person. I happily dine on quite bitter wild greens the rest of them turn away, drink my coffee and tea black, enjoy strongly hopped IPA beers etc etc. I also am pretty sure I recall doing the PTC test as a kid, and although a few of my classmates recoiled at the bitter taste, I tasted nothing at all. Moreover, my significant other who due to his strong avoidance of bitter foods particularly vegetables (and the hated cilantro which tastes bitter/soapy to him) I suspect is a “supertaster” who ate the same amount of pine nuts as I is not yet experiencing the pine mouth symptoms.

      • Fiona says:

        Gosh – that would explain a lot. I was tested in science at school and was a positive PTC taster. This ‘taste’ in my mouth is VERY reminiscent of the drop I was given during the science experiment (twenty years and I can still recall the taste!).

  3. Jeanne Connors says:

    Hi Grace,
    Thanks for the work you are doing to try to figure this out. I just finished the survey and as you can see both my husband and I were affected by the same batch of Pine Nuts. I wanted to let you know that I still have some of the pine nuts. I would be happy to look into sending them to you if it would help.

    Thanks again and Best of Luck.

    • grrrrracey says:

      Hi Jeanne! Thank you very much for helping out with the survey! Yes I am still collecting pine nut samples and will be very happy if you would send it to me! :) At the moment, I still have very few samples (<15, I will have a couple of update posts coming soon — it's been a rather information-loaded week) and I will need a lot more for my research. I will look for your email in the survey results and send you my postal address. Thank you!! Cheers, Grace

  4. DaviLyn Morse says:

    Hi Grace,
    I filled out the survey last night. I do have a few nuts left (they’ve been pan roasted) and would be happy to send them to you. Please send me the mailing address.
    My good news is that the bitterness is subsiding. Yesterday was unbearable, but I tried really sour hard candy – Warheads – and it seemed to help. To me though, the Warhead was so sour that it was painful, but the relief from the bitterness was worth it.
    I never thought of myself as a super taster, but I might be. For example, I can taste an off flavor in milk before the sell by date, when it tastes fine to everyone else. Also, brussel sprouts, broccoli rabe and turnips taste quite bitter to me.
    Meanwhile, I’m going to stop using food products from China. I just noticed that the store brand apple juice in my fridge is actually made from apple juice concentrate from China–just dumped in down the drain.

    • Sally Knowles says:

      David,
      You may have noticed in my post above that two foods are especially bitter to me. I recall doing a taste test in high school biology where we licked a little paper. It was bitter to some people and had no taste at all to others. It was bitter to me.

      I don’t know if you are a beer drinker, but I don’t like especially hoppy beers or IPAs. I read recently that people who find some foods bitter really taste the bitterness of hops.

      I think there are some test kits that can be ordered on line to check to see if one is a super taster. I might look ino that.
      Sally

    • DaviLyn Morse says:

      Grace-I may have jumped the gun doing your survey on the first day of my symptoms. I woke up this morning with very little bitterness, but it came back after a cup of coffee with cream. A cup of tea was fine, but the banana bread brought it back. lol. Chased it away with a sour Warhead. Minestrone soup for lunch was fine after I added some Tabasco sauce – seems like spicy overcomes the bitterness. Pork roast for dinner was okay, but the green beans tasted nasty(hubby thought they tasted normal). Didn’t dare try wine yet-maybe tomorrow. This is SO curious! I plan to keep a food log for the next few days, just to see how long it takes for different foods to stop tasting bitter. Will keep you posted.

      • grrrrracey says:

        Dear Davilyn, it’s funny how you’re taking those crazy taste buds to war with Warheads! :) It is indeed puzzling– there’s a lot of information right now, but with so much details and suggestions being provided by everyone, I believe that we will be able to understand more about the syndrome and at least be a little closer to solving the puzzle ;) For now, I will just need some time to peruse and analyze the information. Thank you for helping out with the research and keeping a food log is a very good idea indeed! I have yet to receive any samples from Costco and will be very interested in your pine nuts indeed….. ok i’m heading over to gmail now to email you my postal address!

  5. Ingrid Bengis Palei says:

    I first experienced the metallic taste in my mouth while drinking a glass of wine poured by a friend who usually selects wonderful wines. The wine tasted bitter, and everything I ate for the rest of the evening did too. The metallic taste remained in my mouth for thirty six hours before it started to really worry me. I read online about metallic taste, and what to do about it, then kept a clove in my mouth all night and put in a fresh one again in the morning. Then later in the same day, my husband said that he also has had a bitter (not metallic) taste in his mouth for the last twenty four hours.
    The same friend who poured the suspect glass of wine asked me if I had eaten pine nuts. Yes, both of us had. We still have them. If you would like I can send them, and will find out tomorrow where my husband bought them. We are in rural Maine.
    I am reputed to have very fine palate, but my sense of taste seems to be diminishing in the past year. I associate that with getting older, but it could be something else.
    How can I help with researching this problem. It really is hard to get rid of the awful taste in my mouth. I am about to get another clove, and keep it in my mouth for the night.

  6. Joanna Simmons says:

    Hi Grace

    I am a relatively new sufferer and was astounded to discover just how wide-spread the problem seems to be. I had not heard of PNS beforehand and it was only after googling what I thought to be a ‘chemical’ rather than bitter or metallic taste that I came across a website which mentioned it. I was convinced it had something to do with the 5 hours I spent in the hairdressers on Sunday when I had both acrylic nails in-filled (so acetone was also used) and my hair dyed. My boyfriend brought a panini into the salon for me and it tasted absoluteley disgusting. Two days later and the taste still hadn’t gone away but was only triggered by eating or drinking (everything but still water). For me bread or bland carbs are the worst reactants.

    It was only after finding the website that I remembered that the panini may have contained pesto but it was upon eating the panini that I noticed the taste which did not fit. Then, whilst reading the wikipedia post, which noted the symptoms presenting 1-3 days after consumption, I recalled eating a salad on the Friday evening absoluteley covered in pine nuts and I thought – bingo – that’s it!

    As I am only 5 days in at the moment I will not complete the survey just yet but, as I said bread and carbs seem to be the worst triggers for me, along with organge juice (which tasted like it does after brushing your teeth), and extremely salty/sweet foods mask the taste. The taste does not seem to be going at all yet though and I have a slight tingling sensation on my lips (which again tastes chemical).

    I think I am also what you refer to as a ‘super taster’ as I can identify brands of bottled water by taste (which astounds everyone I know) and can easily tell the difference between Coca Cola & Pepsi for example. Please contact me for any further information before I complete the survey as I find the subject simply fascinating.

    Keep up the good work.

    Joanna

  7. Katja says:

    Just finished the survey, but as my PNS was already in 2009 I couldn’t remember all the details. But above I read that in the survey you asked about ‘general bitter taste sensitivity’. I don’t remember reading this in the survey (and that was only moments ago :-) ). Maybe it was the survey before this one ?
    But I do know that I have ‘genetic bitter taste sensitivity’ (as I took a test in a physiology practicum 30 years ago), and I don’t like beer (pale lager) because I find it too bitter (with beer I do have the experience that I like the first few draughts but after that it makes me shiver from the bitterness.

  8. Kirsten says:

    This is the second time I’ve had this mouth bitterness issue – the first time I even went to the dentist to see if there was something ‘dentally’ wrong. The symptom lasted about two weeks, and coffee in particular tasted disgustingly bitter.

    This time I googled and found this site (amongst others, but this is a wonderful site with better information!). Ah ha!! I ate a salad with pine nuts on Tuesday and Wednesday and these symptoms started on Thursday! I queried the cafe over the phone but they couldn’t tell me where they got their pine nuts (as in origin), but I will check in person next time I’m there.

    I’ve passed this site onto my mother (a botanist) who also finds it intriguing. I have joined the Facebook site and look forward to contributing my end of whatever I find to your research. Thank you for your care and attention to details!

  9. Jo says:

    Ik las in de NRC-bijlage van afgelopen zaterdag over het “pijnboompittensyndroom”. Ongeveer een half jaar geleden heb ik ook een dergelijke ervaring gehad – ik weet nu echter niet meer of ik kort daarvoor pijnboompitten had gegeten. Door de metalige smaak was ik van mening dat een vulling in een kies “lekte”. De tandarts zag geen beschadiging. Na een week werd de vieze smaak minder.
    Ik vraag me af of het feit dat mensen vullingen (amalgaan) in hun tanden hebben er op een of andere wijze iets mee te maken zou kunnen hebben.

  10. Agnes Wesselius says:

    Beleefde twee weken geleden deze bijzondere smaakverandering na een pesto te hebben gemaakt van pijnboompitten en waterkers (heel lekker!). Via internet verlost van de gedachte dat ik een of andere narigheid onder de leden zou hebben maar dat de pijnboompitten de veroorzaker zouden zijn (al of niet in combinatie met amalgaam van de enige nog resterende vulling van dat materiaal?). Iemand meldde dat het roosteren van de pitten zou voorkomen dat die rare smaakverandering plaatsvindt. Is daar iets van bekend?

  11. josie says:

    My friend called me last week asking if I knew of anything that might cause him to have a metallic taste in his mouth. As a physician, I’ve only heard of antibiotics/medications causing this phenomenon. Strangely, yesterday, I began noticing a bitter, metallic taste in my mouth! So I googled it and found some articles on Pine Mouth or Pine Nut Syndrome. Of course because I had had pine nuts on my salad for the past two nights, this caught my eye! It’s miserable as I love food. I noticed that eating salty foods helps with the terrible taste. Once I make it through the ‘one to four weeks’ (ugh!) of metallogeusia, I’ll come back and take your survey.

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  13. Megan says:

    I ate pine nuts last week and find I am suffering from PNS now- it is not fun! I can’t enjoy food at all. Although I find if I have a beer before/ with food it dulls the metallic taste and makes eating bearable.

  14. Skye says:

    I have been experiencing this!!! Thank God for this site and all the other blogs! I also feel quite nauseous? I ate a handful of pine nuts that had been sitting in a jar.. so I cant remember the brand. But sure as taxes.. 2 days later I began to get this weird bitterness at the back of my mouth. Its ok when I wake up but worsens when I eat. Im on day 4.. I realllly hope it doesnt last too much longer. Im scared it will never go away. I AM NEVER TOUCHING PINE NUTS AGAIN! The taste is almost like bile? and a bit soapy as well. Slight head ache with it too. Can someone suggest a remedy to lessen the effects?

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  16. Oren says:

    Took me forever to diagnose this, but i definetly am experiencing PNS from nuts purchased from trader joes. NOT HAPPY.

  17. Barb says:

    I wanted to make pesto. I didn’t have pine nuts, so I used walnuts instead. It turned out pretty good! I’ve not had this syndrome, rarely eat them. But, maybe this substitution can help those who suffer with this syndrome!

  18. Richard Ngyow says:

    I am becoming an unfortunate expert on this topic. Third time in a year I’ve had the annoying metallic taste! Usually lasts 5 days. Finally identified the culprit to be pine mouth. Mine was from Aurora Natural’s Pignolia Nuts (Pinenuts), bar code 655852000489, Product of China use by date 10/21/11 stored since purchase in the fridge. Reporting it to the FDA. http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/​Consumers/ucm247099.htm

  19. unexpectedlighting says:

    I’m having my first and hopefully last experience with this. Thanks Trader Joe’s!

  20. cristina says:

    I am a lawyer in San Francisco , California, and we are looking for individuals who have experienced an aftertaste or other adverse reactions from eating Pine Nuts from Trader Joe’s. Particularly, we are seeking San Francisco Bay Area folks who can provide us with information about when and where they purchased the pine nuts, the symptoms they experienced, whether they still have the pine nuts, and whether they saw a warning on the package of pine nuts. If you can provide any information, please contact me at cristina.rubke@sflaw.com.

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  22. Carrie says:

    I’m in the midlands uk and currently on my 3xrd day of pine mouth! It’s driving me crazy!

  23. Dianne Vaughan says:

    I am so glad to find this web site. I was convinced I was being poisoned by a vitamin or supplement that was contaminated. I threw them all out! I went to the dentist concerned I had an infection, virus or bacteria, but he didn’t find anything and didn’t ask about pine nuts. I’ve always loved pine nuts and it’s now basil season.
    Thank you for your information and research.

  24. Joe says:

    so I just began experiencing this. really strange, not unbearable, but not pleasant. Whats weird is i ate shelled peanuts last night, that were old, and im not sure if they could be a possible cause?
    i did eat pine nuts a few days ago in a posh baguette that i got from a supermarket though. disturbing to think that sainsburys could potentially be putting out these dodgey nuts?

  25. Susie says:

    Has anybody had this longer than 2 weeks? I am going on six months now. This has been very depressing and have not been able to enjoy eating and drinking anymore! Need to know if there is a cure for I don’t see this going away anytime soon.

    • Julie says:

      I am on 9 months. I still have some bitterness on the tip of my tongue whether I eat or not. Most things taste ok now…..but coffee and chocolate are still not great. I’m beginning to think the pine nuts have done some permanent damage to my tongue :(

  26. Beth Healey says:

    For the first time in years, I decided to put pine nuts in my stuffing. The next day I noticed that every time I ate or drank anything, I had a bitter/metallic taste in my mouth. No one else who ate the stuffing has complained. I also ate about a handful plain while cooking. I googled bitter taste and discovere PNS. What a surprise! I have had it for 3 days so far.
    The only pine nuts I have left are in the stuffing. Do you want me to send you some?
    I bought them at Trader Joe’s in Massachusetts.

  27. Jessica says:

    I am currently suffering from pine mouth. It is absolutely awful. IS there anyway to stop it, any foods to suggest that might taste normal?

    I had eaten the same pine nuts before and did not have any problems

  28. Olivia says:

    It was 2 years ago when I have also suffered from what I found to be colled now pine mounth. The bitter taste was extremely strong. It lasted for about a week and I have eaten just one day some pine nuts before that week. As I was in a business travel I couldn’t go to a doctor but I was really warried that something is wrong with my liver. I also tried to eat more sweet things but the bitter taste was even stronger after eating. I guess it had some beneficial effect on my liver or bill as my tongue was very clean. A colleague told me that she had once the same syndrome afer eating pine nuts. By the way, they were bought from the Netherlands, the long type ones, they don’t write on the packages which species.

  29. Stacey says:

    This was a good article and very much appreciated. I’ve been experiencing Pine Mouth syndrome for the last 7 days after eating pine nuts that originated in China. The taste is fading now but it still noticable. It’s no fun. I keep wondering and would like to know what exactly is reacting to alter my taste and give me such a bitter taste. Thanks for your research.

  30. Becky says:

    I’m on day 4 of PNS after eating pine nuts for the first time. I live in South Africa and purchased the Pine Nuts from the Spar in a container labelled Mediterranean Delicacies, but not stating where the pine nuts actually originate from. I threw them out and have vowed never to eat them again.
    I find that the bitter taste is starting to fade today so hopefully my taste will continue to improve now. I tried lemon juice which did help a bit and then resorted to sour gums – the type the kids eat and I normally hate!. They seem to keep the bitterness at bay but only temporarily. But at least they bring some relief.

  31. 000oiio000 says:

    Ate Trader Joe’s pine nuts two days ago. Can’t eat anything now without an absolutely horrible bitter taste. Had a sore throat for about an hour yesterday, and a constant bloated feeling and occasional mild nausea today and yesterday. My wife had the nausea yesterday, no bloating, and the bitterness is already subsiding for her.

  32. Sarah Asbury says:

    I have got PNS – ate pint nut salad on Tues eve and developed symptoms Thurs worsening Fri/Sat (today). Thought I was going mad until read this thread.Shall go to the pub where I ate and ask them where they source their pine nuts as I regularly eat pine nuts purchased at Waitrose. I am also wondering if there is a link to pine trees which cause me asthma in summer??
    Intrigued and relieved to know what the bitter/metallic taste is.

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  34. Giovanna Grossi says:

    I just discovered what the cause of the bitter/metallic taste in my mouth was today after going online. I ate a handful of pine nuts last Tuesday night, and on Wednesday I ate a piece of pizza with pine nuts, and it had the most horrible taste. Up to now, it’s still been bad. The foods that taste the worst are cheese (any kind), dry sausage, iced tea, breads, and grains (in general). Fruit is okay, but it leaves a bad aftertaste. I checked the brand of pine nuts and it was Alessi imported pignoli pine nuts, and they’re from China or Turkey. If you’d like, I can send you some of the pine nuts because I have a lot left.

  35. I found this post quite by accident. I was researching on why really spicy foods (e.g., anything made with habanero peppers) tasted very bitter to me. The heat/spicyness does not bother me; but the bitterness does.

    I then read about PNS and I have a completely different reaction to pine nuts. To me, they are sweet. I really like them, and if they were not so expensive, I would eat them more frequently. I do not have any of the reactions other people report.

    What do you know about supertasters? Could that have a bearing on PNS? I suspect I am one, but I have never been tested. As for my tasting sweetness, I seem to be sensitive to that taste. A friend of mine makes very hot horseradish. He adds a small amount of cane sugar (but no beet juice) to his horseradish. When I eat something that contains his horseradish, I taste the sugar before I taste the hot/spicyness of the horseradish.

    Also, there is something in a raw tomato which I do not like. I like all tomato products as long as they are cooked (e.g., crushed, sauce, stewed, and paste). It is only with fresh, raw tomatoes, that I can taste something objectionable.

  36. Chris Maidman says:

    Thank you google and all those investigating this problem. For the past 6 weeks I have had a horrible metallic taste in my mouth for a few days at a time, strangley triggered by eating or drinking. I do eat a small quantity of pine nuts on a salad or as a snack from a big tub bought a few months ago (I have not still got the bag so don’t know the type). I will now throw the remaining nuts away and when symptoms have disappeared look for a quality nut to try that is not armandii and report back.

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  38. Learn More About Save Energy says:

    Wonderful web site. Lots of useful information here. I’m sending it to several buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you for your effort!

  39. Patricia says:

    10 hours of symptoms after eating no more than 2 tablespoons of pine nuts from China 36 hours ago. Bitter/sour taste in my mouth during and after eating and drinking, subsides a bit when I’m not consuming anything; but a pounding headache, occasional dry heaves, and now vomiting after a full meal and stomach cramps. Brand name Golden Sunrise Food– Produce of China, purchased at weekly farmers market in Oxford, UK.
    I don’t know if I am a “supertaster” and I never did a PROP / PTC test, but I usually enjoy bitter foods, hops in beer, drink strong coffee in the morning, and like gin and tonic (extra lime!).
    I grew up eating pine nuts in pesto, have never experienced this before (I originally thought I had a stroke!), and I’m not allergic to anything at all.

  40. Pat says:

    I may be having an entirely different reaction – i get light headed and feel like i had that one drink that makes one feel high but not drunk. This has happened to me in the past but not until today have i heard about issues with pine nuts from China. Since i just ate pine nuts this past week and again had this strange reaction – i am beginning to put things together. I never intend to eat anything from China again -and actually never even thought to look at where the pine nuts i was eating came from. I have eated pine nuts all my life but bought them from growers from New Mexico and never had this experience. But probably not a good idea for me to eat any pine nuts period.

    • lily says:

      I had the same experience. I had a pounding headache and very strong bitter taste in my mouth for a few days. I didn’t know what the problem was until I researched online about what causes bitter taste. Yes, it was pine nuts. I had some over my salad and ended up with a pounding headache and such bitter taste in my mouth that I couldn’t eat or even drink coffee.

      • Birgit NSW says:

        I have symtoms straight away after eating pine nuts (seeds) Tingling lips, pain down my throat and then serve pain in my abdomin, vomiting and diarrhea for days, headache and can’t eat anyting that will stay in my stomach. Frighten to eat anyting after that

  41. I had pine nuts for the first time last night. Within the hour, I had severe stomach pain and a couple bouts of diarrhea. I can’t help but think it was from the pine nuts.

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  44. Teffany says:

    I’ve been eating pine nuts for years and never had a problem, until this week. I experienced a bitter taste in my mouth just about every time I ate, plus I just wasn’t feeling like my usual self – stomach ache/headache. I’m very appreciative of the research you’ve been doing into this issue. Because of the uniqueness of the symptom, it was fairly easy to find information online.

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  46. Silvia says:

    For Pine nut allergy, there is a new scientific study published in the prestigious journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.

    Here is the Pine nut article (safe link)

    https://mega.co.nz/#!5BFyCCbY!XXCxNQ-mmunUBnMuH-uHSALM8N4ThgzV0c1HFEdvUO8

  47. Lisa says:

    I have had the most bitter taste in my mouth for 2 days so bitter, in fact, that I felt the need to look on the Internet for the culprit. I came across “pine mouth syndrome” and it explained my condition completely! – I ingested several handfuls of raw pine nuts I had in my freezer and the next day (and another handful later) I developed this horrible taste. I ate and drank a variety of things trying to rid myself of the taste and it only intensified! – I am relieved to know what it is. I was going to throw out the nuts (they have been in the freezer a loooong time) but if you would like a sample of them I would be happy to send them to you. – I have had pine nuts many times before but not in the amount I ingested these last couple of days. I don’t recall ever experiencing this in the past. Glad to know it’s nothing to worry about. Just can’t wait for it to go away.

  48. Ben says:

    I’ve had very similar symptoms to all those described above. Before I’d heard of Pine Mouth i saw some doctors, one of whom thought I had oral thrush (which I’m sure I didn’t, and a dentist friend also saw no signs of it) and the other doctor assumed it was acid reflux, which didn’t quite ring true. And I did have pesto 2 days before the symptoms started showing which has alerted me to this.

    Have you heard of any other examples of doctors struggling to diagnose this? Are there any clear distinction between the symptoms of these as far as you are aware? Any thought appreciated!

  49. Melissa says:

    Yes! Thank you. I have been racking my brains and plowing through Google why I have this crazy bitter taste in my mouth. It’s not even just bitter. Sweet things taste a touch salty, savoury foods taste bitter and water…water just taste sour. I thought I was going crazy or worse, pregnant!
    It’s been 3 days now…lucky I just ate a handful of pine nuts!

  50. Ali says:

    Dreadful symptoms with the only relief being finding this site. My husband and I were thinking we would need to update our wills! It is a crazy condition and something I have never heard of. Interestingly, I made two batches of pesto this week. The first I used italian nuts and my kids loved it. Second batch I found some “cheap” nuts at the supermarket. Next day, bam! Bingo – just checked, “made in China”…

  51. Katie says:

    OMG this pine mouth we speak of i definatley have and have had now everytime i eat for four days!! Thanks god someone has worked this out. I thought i was going down with some sort of cronic diesase!! i have has lots of pine nuts before and never had an issue but the pesto i had on the weekend from a random deli has definatley given me pine mouth.

  52. Hi,
    I am currently experiencing the pine nut syndrome. In my case, all my life I ate pine nuts from Spain and never had a reaction. Nevertheless, I have experienced one time before after eating peanuts from Trader Joes. At that time I couldn’t figure out what it was but this second time it was clear to me. The PNS appeared, in this occasion after 2 days after eating the pine nuts from trader joes again. The bag says they come from Korea, Russian and/or Vietnam. I am experiencing a bitter taste in my mouth all day with some headache. This is my day 3 and haven’t feel any improvement yet. I will be happy to complete the survey and to send a sample of the pine nuts. I couldn’t find the survey that everyone is talking about. Please let me know if I can be of help. More research is needed is this matter. Thanks
    Sylvia

  53. Ginny says:

    Hi

    I have had a horrible metallic bitter taste in my mouth especially after eating and drinking for three days now. I noticed it first while eating what was supposed to be a gourmet meal. I couldn’t understand what the awful bitter flavour was in the sauce. I had the same bitter taste the following morning at breakfast and two days on – it’s still there. I looked on the internet for information and found out about PNS. It then dawned on me that one day before it started, I had had a tea with mint and pint nut kernels the day before in a café in Nice. I ate the pine nut kernels at the time and they seemed ok but 24 hours later I had this horrible taste. I really hope it goes soon – as Christmas is nearly here and I’m not looking forward to any food at the moment.

  54. Tania says:

    I have eaten pine nuts all my life. Handfuls of them, pesto, sprinkled on salads – And I’ve never had a problem. The last 2 times I have had a bitter taste in my mouth everytime I eat, lasting approximately 3 days.

    It’s so weird.

    Pine mouth. I have it :))

  55. Suzie Temple says:

    Ate pine nuts in salad then a huge handful at the start of the week. Three days on and suddenly this foul bitter taste took over my mouth. Everything tasted like sucking on tablets, chemically bitter. So far three days worth. Hoping it will soon stop it foul

  56. Poppy Williamson says:

    I often get the bitter taste when I eat pine nuts or pesto and I know I am allergic to the pine pollen. I get massive red spots that go away only after a shower! Hope this helps!

  57. Judy says:

    I have it — Trader Joe’s pine nuts. Kale salad with pine nuts and parmesan on Thursday, and woke up Saturday with a slight headache, diarrhea and the worst bitter aftertaste in my mouth with everything I eat or drink. Hopefully it doesn’t last months like several other posters…

    • Marie says:

      I made a large batch of pesto and I’ve had a horrid bitter or metallic taste in my mouth over the last couple of weeks. I ate the pesto yesterday and it’s terrible today. I’ve made a years supply and frozen it!!
      Strawberries, raspberries, yogurt, potato, bread, all taste awful.
      Not so bad with drinks
      My friend bought me the pine nuts

  58. Margaret says:

    I had a handful of pine nuts 3 days ago. 2 days ago, I noticed the bitter taste. Anything I eat or drink tastes horrible, and I end up feeling nauseous. Not fun. I was able to drink water yesterday with no bitterness, so I was hoping it was going away. Then I had V8 and quickly discovered it was not going away. :-(

  59. Irene says:

    Same experience here, but does anyone know anything about the substance that causes this lingering bitter taste? Is it native to this Chinese variety of pine, or is it because of chemical treatment of the nuts? Is it toxic or just an allergene in some people?

  60. Joan Williamson says:

    I have been allergic to pine nuts for a number of years and try to have no contact with eating pine nuts in any shape or form. My reaction is immediate as soon as the pin nuts is in the mouth which is my saving grace as I stop eating immediately the tast sensation takes over in my mouth. I experience vomiting and stripped throat and totally sick feeling. On the occasions when this has happened i quickly gargle iced water (when I can) which I think does help the tast sensation to a degree. But I do not escape the violent reactions that come from having been in contact with the pine nuts. Pine nuts are being added in so many foods eg pastry, salads and as a general garnish.

  61. ladd says:

    I have a horrible time with pns I have found eating coconut oil after thoroughly brushing teeth and tongue and letting the oil coat your tongue will help A LOT with what for me tastes like something dedicated in my mouth.

  62. Joan Williamson says:

    Are your symptoms immediate afer eating pine nuts? My reaction is immediate and most of my research indicates pnm is a taste disturbance that occurs a few days after eating pine nuts.

  63. Priscilla Teo says:

    I came across your writeup while googling why I have a sudden bitter taste in my mouth. You have listed that it’s pine nuts from China and about Traders Joe pine nuts. I like you to know that the pine nuts I had eaten was from Trader’s Joe which my daughter just bought for me when she was in US last week.

    I had eaten them few days ago but no bitter taste. Last night I ate a bit more of it. I ate roasted cuttlefish after that. I womder was it a reaction with the cuttlefish as well.

  64. Priscilla Teo says:

    I also notice raised tiny bumps on
    my neck and face. They are not itchy and cannot be seen. I know they are there only when I touched my neck and face. They feel like millia. I wonder is it from the pine nuts too. Anyone experienced this?

  65. Monika says:

    I experienced PNS 6 weeks ago. I had bought a bag of pine nuts from Trader Joe’s ( a product of Korea, Russia, and Vietnam). It was Sunday when I bought it, and I made some salad with those pine nuts for dinner. On Monday night before going to bed, I felt hungry and ate about 2-3 handful of the pine nuts. On Wednesday, everything I ate was extremely bitter. I thought my Mocha was bad, maybe my food had too much mint, maybe my aloe juice has gone bad,… Then I thought maybe there was something wrong with my gallbladder. I started searching online, and I found out that there is this weird phenomenon called Pine Mouth Syndrome. I called FDA and reported my case. After 4-5 days, I started feeling anxious since I couldn’t enjoy eating anymore. My family doctor said he had never heard of such a thing and proscribed some acid reflux medications for me! My family counselor had me eat pieces of bread and told me that I was imagining the bitter taste! So hurtful! I hope all doctors would update their knowledge so that they won’t make their patients feel worse! Anyways, it took two weeks to feel better in my case. On the day 7 or 8 things were tasting not as bad. Then, it slowly started getting better. Even though it is all gone, I can still remember that nasty taste in my mouth. I hope anyone who is suffering from PNS feels better soon. It may take less than 2 weeks for a lot people. I wish you all a soon recovery.

  66. Nazia says:

    Hi, I am so glad I found this website. I was about to go crazy thinking I was struck by a horrible disease! I live in Harare, Zimbabwe. I bought a packet of pine nuts from Spar store on 26 May to make Pesto as my garden herbs are plenty. While making the sauce I ate few of the nuts. Just after two days I started having the bitter taste in my mouth… and did’nt know what was causing it? Thanks for this site I now know there is something called PNS !! I am just waiting how fast would it go away?

  67. el0cinat1na says:

    Hello,
    Thank you for sharing this! I ate pine nuts two days ago and today I had a really bitter/metallic taste in my mouth. I’ve hardly consumed anything because it gets worse after every sip/bite. So glad someone has explained it! I was worried.

  68. Sharon B. says:

    My daughter and I were on a cruise. About 3 days into it we started to notice everything we ate tasted like dirty copper. At first I didn’t say anything b/c I thought I was going crazy. Finally, my daughter mentioned that the watermelon she was eating tasted like metal. We compared notes. We both had it, both started at the same time and it lasted about 3 weeks for both of us.
    Kind of sad, you go on a cruise w/ all that great food and everything tasted weird (things w/ higher fat content like meats and cheeses weren’t as metallic tasting.)
    I can’t swear to it, but we both started our cruise at the salad bar in the buffet, and they always have pine nuts, which we both like and PROBABLY both put on our salads. This was 2008 and it has remained a mystery to both of us until I found this web page. Thanks for this information.

  69. Pingback: Oatmeal and Pine Nut Cookies | Peaceful Vegan Cooking

  70. Stephen L. says:

    I seem to have acquired this from eating pine nuts. Observations: Took about 24 hours before first symptoms, 48 hours until peak. The problem is not a bitter taste in my mouth, I have confirmed it is a change in the behavior of taste receptors in the tongue. I can lick anything, and it tastes bitter. I can still taste sweet and sour, but bitter predominates, no matter the substance. Prediction: I predict the pine nuts are modifying, through changes in gene expression (hence the delay), the behavior of the bitter taste receptors in the tongue.

  71. Gerlind says:

    This is the second time I have experienced these symptoms. Each time after eating raw pine nuts in a salad. I had eaten pine nuts many times before and no reaction. And I generally enjoy bitter tastes (bitter leamon, tonic, rocket) but this awful taste in the mount triggered by anything I eat or drink is horrid. Chicken soup tastes soapy, strawberries taste bitter – anything I except water or herbal tea triggers the bitter response. The first taste of anything is ok, but the bitterness quickly sets in and stays for several minutes after eating or drinking. Onset was about 1.5 days and its been 3 days already. The previous time it lasted a week.

  72. Cynthia says:

    I had this happen again this morning because I was in a hurry the other day and bought awful Chinese pine nuts from Kroger, made pesto. Now I have the bitter mouth HOWEVER there is an antidote for this: ginger. Drink ginger tea, or eat fresh ginger or make tea from it. The best commercial ginger tea is Yogi, bar none. I have had 3 cups thus far, plus some Ginger Chews and the bitterness is all but gone. I can enjoy the food I eat at lunch. NEVER will I buy pine nuts from China, or any food item, just not safe, unfortunately. Good luck everyone, get some ginger.

  73. Sandi says:

    Both my husband and I are experiencing pine nut syndrome, from pesto I made with pine nuts from Winco Foods bulk food bins. The pine nuts appeared to be fresh in appearance, taste and smell. Two days after eating the pesto, we both had a bitter taste in the back of our throats when eating food. Tastes awful!! Today is the 3rd day and I think mine is slightly better. Why aren’t the stores paying attention to this! Very frustrating, such a nasty taste. Also gave me headaches.

  74. Sandi says:

    Just wanted to add, we have been able to eat a few items with minimal bitterness. Fresh tomatoes with mozzarella and balsamic vinegar, scrambled eggs, wheat toast. White bread was horrible as was avacado. Tea, both black and herbal was ok.

  75. Cynthia says:

    Read my post from a few days ago…ginger is the antidote, lots of ginger. Tea, fresh, as much as you can consume. The bitter taste will go away far more rapidly and you will be OK.

    As for the stores – I am afraid we consumers have to go to our stores with articles/web links in hand and file complaints to start an awareness movement. Or maybe it would make for a great 20/20 segment, or CBS Sunday Morning.

  76. Corne says:

    Never knew this could happen. Persistant bitter taste for 2 days now. Pine nuts from a local supermarket. Hartbeespoort Dam, South Africa. Ginger flavoured Rooibos tea the only thing tastebuds can handle at the moment. :(

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  78. Jennifer says:

    Thank goodness for the internet and Google. I never would have associated my “metal mouth” to the pine nuts I ate 2 days ago. This is horrible not being able to eat anything without that bad taste in my mouth. I live in New Mexico and usually eat local pinon (pine nuts). Two days ago I ate some that were purchased at Sam’s Club by a friend of ours, I believe they were from China (definitely not New Mexico anyway). Something needs to be done about this!! The FDA knows about this but why aren’t they doing more to stop imports of bad pine nuts?? This is one of many reasons I don’t trust the FDA to keep us safe from harmful products.

  79. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

  80. Hjj says:

    I got PNS two days ago after eating pine nuts form Sam’s Club: Amport Foods Pine Nuts, 15oz bag. It contains pine nuts from China, Portugal, and Spain. Amazon also sells this product. I am overpowering the bitter taste with raw lemon. It works until the next time I eat.

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