Wait, What’s Melatonin?!


Ever heard of melatonin–that wondrous hormone that wellness insiders claim can work miracles when it comes to your health?  Melatonin, which is produced in the pineal gland in the brain, is effective for the treatment of sleep disorders, headaches, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, gall bladder stones and tinnitus. There are a lot of foods out there that contain melatonin. It is also available as a pill.

Having known what melatonin is, let’s take a look at the benefits of taking it.


It may help in some cases of insomnia




It’s no secret that most modern people struggle with drifting off in the night; the good news is that all that knowledge means we know better than ever what needs to be done to make getting a good night’s sleep just a little bit easier. What happens is, when the brain detects darkness, a small gland in it known as pineal releases melatonin, which is responsible for our sleep cycles.

Night owls, if you’re struggling to sleep, before you resort to popping sleep-inducing pills, try downing some melatonin-rich foods or pills. For example, walnuts are a fantastic source of melatonin which can regulate sleeping patterns.


It may relieve headaches




Waking up in the morning is hard enough, especially when you have to deal with a headache. But have no fear. BeFantastico, known for its excellent tips, has you covered. To prepare for your next headache (or to nip the one you already have in the bud), try out melatonin.

You know those headaches that come with acute and recurrent one-sided pain around the eye? Evidence suggests that melatonin can relieve them.


It may be effective in combating cancer




According to some studies, because it fights tumor cells, melatonin may act as an anti-cancer agent for breast, brain, colon, renal and lung cancer.  However, it does this when used along with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

In 2005, a literature review and meta-analysis carried out revealed that the “substantial reduction in risk of death, low adverse events reported, and low costs related to this intervention suggest great potential for melatonin in treating cancer.”


It may slow the decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease




Yes, the prospect of facing a long life of memory loss can be stressful.  And it’s no secret that melatonin levels decrease as one ages. However, this decrease is more noticeable in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Fortunately, melatonin appears to slow the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s.


It may relieve tinnitus




Several studies have found that the melatonin can aid relaxation and improve sleep. This proves that tinnitus can be improved by melatonin; especially as it contains some antioxidant properties.


It fights against the development of gallbladder stones




Yeah, you always hear about how gallstones can develop due to free radical damage. But with its antioxidant components, melatonin can help gallstones move freely through the gallbladder by converting cholesterol into bile.


It provides protection from radioactivity




For patients undergoing radiation therapy, free radicals can cause some other health complications, due to their exposure to radioactive substances. Thankfully, melatonin might prove effective for them and people who work in high-radiation areas too.


Side effects of melatonin

This isn’t probably what you want to hear, but melatonin has some side effects. They are, however, very few. According to several trials, a short-term, low-dose, and up to 3-month usage reported no adverse effects. The few side effects that have been reported include dizziness, irritability, nausea, blood clots, headaches, and skin pigmentation.

Also, note that for women who wish to conceive or be breast-feeding mothers, the use of melatonin is not advisable as it affects the reproductive system.


What are some precautions to take in melatonin usage?

  • After taking melatonin, do not drive or operate any machinery for at least 4 hours.
  • The combo of melatonin and other prescription medications or supplements is never a good idea. Always consult your doctor first.
  • If you must take alcohol, stay away from melatonin.
  • Steer clear of carbonated drinks and products that contain caffeine, as they usually do not go well with melatonin.


Is melatonin use approved by the FDA?

Considering its few side effects, it may seem okay to refer to melatonin as a dietary supplement. And yes, it falls under the FDA’s Dietary Health and Education Act as a dietary supplement. However, it is beneficial to note that it is not approved by the FDA for any use. Melatonin, like other supplements is not reviewed for safety by the FDA prior to their being marketed.

To be safe, simply avoid getting your dietary supplements, including melatonin from the Internet and or online pharmacies whose authenticity you cannot prove.


What are the foods that contain melatonin?




According to a study published in Food and Nutrition Research notes, some foods do contain various amounts of melatonin as measured by immunological and chromatographic laboratory techniques. These foods include walnuts, olive oil, wine, cow’s milk, tomatoes, strawberries.

In fact, all foods rich in vegetables, fruits and grain products have significant levels of dietary melatonin. However, the overall effect of dietary consumption on the eventual production of melatonin at night is very little. Melatonin production is mainly influenced by the effects of light and darkness and by age.


Bottom line

Evidently, the pros of using melatonin outweigh its cons, but prolonged use can desensitize the brain and worsen sleep disorders. To optimize its benefits, melatonin should be taken intermittently and at the right time.



Melatonin: Uses, side effects, and warnings–https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/232138.php