Melatonin Supplements - Products, Information, Effects, Benefits

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Melatonin Supplements - Products, Information, Side Effects, Benefits

Reprinted by permission from Bill Faloon of the Life Extension Foundation

Favorable reports on melatonin have been featured in almost every news and magazine program in America, including cover stories in NEWSWEEK magazine and USA Today, and feature stories on ABC's 20/20.

Melatonin comes from the pineal gland and reaches its peak at night time.  Secretion of melatonin declines significantly with age as the pineal gland becomes calcified.  Studies have shown that consuming melatonin on a regular basis supports healthy sleep patterns.  When taken along with omega 3 fatty acids such as flax seed oil, issues related to eczema and psoriasis are added to the positive side of health benefits.

Melatonin keeps our circadian cycle in tune as it communicates with the body's cells.  Not only does this time-keeper work to maintain cell health, it appears to regulate a system of self-repair and regeneration.  When this hard-working hormone is diminished, our biological functions can be impaired.

Induce Drowsiness and Improve Sleep Patterns
Melatonin is the most effective antioxidant yet studied because it easily penetrates cell membranes (especially in the brain) to provide protection against free radicals throughout all our cells.  Melatonin crosses the blood-brain barrier very effectively.  Melatonin is used to induce drowsiness and improve sleep patterns.  More and more doctors are recommending melatonin as a safe and effective therapy to help with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

Melatonin has been shown to be completely safe in humans in doses of up to 1,000 mg daily.  The most common side effect of taking too much melatonin is feeling drowsy when you wake up, which can be prevented by taking less melatonin the next night.  The Life Extension Foundation uses only pharmaceutical-quality melatonin that has been assayed for purity, with results of up to 100% purity (minimum 99.9% purity).

Melatonin boosts the production of immune system cells throughout the body. This is extremely important for people over age 40 who will suffer a progressive decline in immune function as they age.  If you have an immune system canc such as leukemia or lymphoma, however, you may not want to take Melatonin until more is known about Melatonin's effects on these types of canc.  Some doctors recommend that women with ovarian canc not take Melatonin.  It is not yet clear whether melatonin is beneficial or harmful for women with ovarian canc.

Melatonin may relieve many forms of sour moods.  Stop taking it if it seems to have the side effects of exacerbating bad moods.

Here are our Protocols for Melatonin Supplementation:
Minimum dose for almost everyone over age 40:  500 mcg each night

Suggested dose for almost everyone over age 50:  3 mg - 6 mg each night, however, see below.

Dose and Use:  Dose varies from individual to individual and as a result many different strengths are available.  Depending on what you discover to be the right strength for you, adjust accordingly.  Take one to five capsules 30-60 minutes before bedtime, or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner.

Other Doses:
Take 3 to 10 mg of Melatonin (in capsule form) about an hour before bedtime.

If you have asthma or an autoimmune disease, consult with your physician before using melatonin.  Patients with leukemia, Hodgkins disease, or lymphoma should avoid melatonin until more is known about its effects on these forms of canc.  If you have an autoimmune disease do not use melatonin. 
If you are pregnant, or seeking to become pregnant, do not take Melatonin.  High doses of Melatonin are being used in Europe as a birth control pill (300 mg/day) along with progesterone.  This contraceptive effect has been studied now for at least two years.  If you weigh under 85 lbs., consult a health professional before using this product.  Do not use if you are driving or operating heavy machinery.

Warnings Information:

  • Keep melatonin supplements out of reach of children,
  • Do not exceed recommended dose,
  • If you have a bad reaction or side effects, discontinue use immediately,
  • When using melatonin supplements / products, please inform your physician,
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your health care professional before using nutritional supplements.

More Information & References | Dose/Strengths

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