So what are the benefits of Melatonin?
Melatonin tablets are a natural relief for insomnia, gastric ulcers, anxiety, depression and some forms of cancers. Melatonin is a hormone in the body that provides the regulation and maintenance of the body’s internal clock. It tells your body when it is time to go to sleep.
Melatonin can help with difficulty falling asleep and improve your quality of sleep.
Melatonin is a natural aid for treating sleep disorders, depression, gastric ulcers and even some cancers. The sleep hormone melatonin is mainly involved in regulating and maintaining the biological biorhythm of the body.
Melatonin is a neurotransmitter-like compound that is a derivative of serotonin and is mainly produced in the pineal gland in the brain. The role of melatonin is the normalization of the biological rhythm and the temporal adaptation of the body to various biological processes.
The release of melatonin occurs according to the circadian rhythm in response to the day and night circulation. In fact, the enzymes that synthesize melatonin in the body are activated by darkness or suppressed by light. This timed property means that melatonin is classified as a chronobiotic compound.
When you buy melatonin, you should pay attention to the following:
c) Dosage Forms
d) Absorption (bioavailability)
What makes a high-quality melatonin preparation?
Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep. Hormones work in the smallest amounts. Therefore, choosing the right dose is the deciding factor as to whether the melatonin supplement is well-tolerated and optimally promotes sleep.
Studies show that melatonin in a low dose often works even better than high dose melatonin tablets while avoiding side effects. Therefore, you should always start with the lowest possible dose to find out what you really need.
Since melatonin is a natural sleep hormone, it is generally well tolerated. Side effects only occur if the dose is too high.
However, some melatonin products contain unnecessary additives, dyes, preservatives, tableting aids, etc., which may affect compatibility.
c) Dosage forms
Melatonin is offered as tablets, lozenges, capsule and drops. It is effective in all these dosage forms.
Most melatonin users prefer tablets, lozenges or capsules because they can be optimally dosed and are easy to use.
More and more people prefer melatonin lozenges, because they show faster optimal effect and are very well tolerated.
Melatonin works in all available dosage forms. However, experts recommend lozenges to maximize absorption in the body to increase the effect.
In lozenges, melatonin is taken under the tongue (sublingual) or via the oral mucosa. This has the additional benefit of allowing melatonin to enter the bloodstream directly without any part of it being able to be deactivated by the liver.
Melatonin preparations should not contain unnecessary additives to be well tolerated and will not cause allergies or other side effects.
The effects of melatonin
Melatonin secretion is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which lies in the hypothalamus. This is the “internal clock” of the body and responsible for the regulation of the circadian rhythm, which determines the daily changes in the functions of the body.
When it gets dark, the suprachiasmatic nucleus receives a signal across the retina. As a result, the production of the sleep hormone melatoninin in the pineal gland (epiphysis) in the midbrain is stimulated, releasing more melatonin into the blood.
For this purpose, the amino acid tryptophan is converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin and melatonin is subsequently produced therefrom. Low levels of melatonin are also formed in the retina and intestine.
Melatonin formation is closely related to the light sensors in the eye. When it gets dark in the evening, the melatonin production increases due to the reduced brightness and makes you feel sleepy. The melatonin concentration peaks between 2 and 4 o’clock in the morning and drops again towards morning. At the same time the cortisol level in the blood rises, which in the morning ensures that one wakes up. In the evening, the cortisol level drops again and the melatonin level rises.
From 9 o’clock in the morning almost no melatonin is left in the blood, because the daylight does not produce any melatonin. On dull winter days, when light is low, melatonin production is not completely stopped during the day, making you feel tired, even depressed during the day.
The many health benefits of melatonin
Melatonin preparations are mainly used to normalize irregular sleep patterns (insomnia). Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that involves difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. The result is a poor sleep quality.
Sleep disorders have a variety of negative effects on the physical and mental condition of those affected. Physical symptoms can be fatigue, increased muscle tension and daytime sleepiness. The mental symptoms of sleep disorders include mental fatigue and behavioral changes such as irritability, negative mood and listlessness.
In addition to these symptoms, people who are tired and have poor sleep quality are more prone to accidents. A significant number of car accidents are the result of fatigue and fatigue associated with sleep disorders.
Taking melatonin has a number of health and well-being benefits:
- Regulates the sleep-wake cycle in sleep disorders
- Corrects jet lag after trips that span multiple time zones
- Improves sleep quality in some cases of sleep disorders
- Improves sleep quality in depression
- Corrects the sleep / wake cycle in people with narcolepsy
- Helps with seasonal depression
- Supports the healing of gastric ulcers
- Has powerful antioxidant properties
- Has a positive effect on the immune system
- Is an anti-aging hormone and slows down the aging process
- Supports learning and a functioning memory
- Has an anti-convulsant effect on some types of epilepsy
On the whole, irregular sleep patterns and poor sleep quality lead to a variety of health problems.
In addition to helping to improve sleep, melatonin also indirectly reduces health problems associated with poor sleep.
Melatonin deficiency – why do I have one?
There are several reasons why melatonin secretion may not be high enough during the night, which may interfere with sleep wake-up and sleeping problems.
As you age, the body produces less melatonin because the pineal gland calcifies over time. Due to the lack of melatonin sleep duration and sleep quality decreases, which is why about 40% of older people often complain of sleep disorders (insomnia). These sleep problems can range from falling asleep to staying asleep and reduced sleep quality.
Electric light and blue light from screens (TV, computer, telephone, etc.) can reduce the release of melatonin. Therefore, one should be careful to avoid all light sources in the bedroom, including points of light from various electrical appliances that are on stand-by.
People who work at night often have sleep problems during the day because the pineal gland does not release enough melatonin in the morning due to the bio-rhythm for a restful sleep.
In persons who spend the day in a dark environment or sleep, the circadian rhythm and thus the melatonin secretion may be disturbed.
Continuing stress and intense sports in the evening also reduce the release of melatonin.
The consumption of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine can also reduce the release of melatonin.
Taking the medication can also reduce the release of melatonin. These include beta-blockers, cortisone preparations or ASA.
In persons with certain diseases (e.g., Addison’s disease, autism) and the blind, melatonin release may also be reduced.
Serotonin deficiency can also lead to a decreased formation of melatonin.
When you should take melatonin?
Melatonin supplements can have a positive effect in the following situations:
In melatonin deficiency
For insomnia and insomnia
Sleep through and light sleep
Sleep disorders caused by medication
In mood swings, to maintain a controlled sleep-wake cycle
To correct a jet lag
Additional help with the treatment of some types of tumors
To delay premature aging of the skin
To protect against gastric ulcers
For the visually impaired and other disabilities where melatonin secretion is not naturally stimulated
Melatonin and sleep disorders
The intake of melatonin has the potential to correct sleep-wake disorders and other sleep disorders.
Studies have shown that there is a correlation between melatonin levels and sleep. Melatonin levels decrease significantly with increasing age, which has a negative effect on the quality and duration of sleep.
The sleep-inducing property of melatonin is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus, which is the control center for regulating the sleep-wake cycle of the body. Due to light stimuli via the retina, the suprachiasmatic nucleus activates or throttles the release of melatonin via the pineal gland.
These systems mainly use the neurotransmitter GABA to exert inhibitory control over the activation systems during sleep. After sleep, activating neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and acetylcholine are released to counteract sleep and enforce wakefulness.
Clinical tests show that melatonin, as a chronobiotic – a substance that determines the biological time rhythm – can help improve sleep quality. In addition, taking melatonin can significantly reduce the time between awake and sleep phases and also improve the quality of sleep.
Melatonin may be beneficial in a variety of sleep disorders, including the following:
Melatonin may help with primary sleep disorders or other sleep disorders caused by beta-blockers or other medicines.
Taking melatonin may help in cases of narcolepsy, a chronic neurological disorder characterized by marked daytime sleepiness.
Melatonin and jet lag
Jet lag is common among those who travel through multiple time zones in a short time due to air travel. As a result, the body’s internal clock is desynchronized in the circadian day-night rhythm at the destination.
Jet lag can have a negative impact on our well-being as well as mental and physical performance. The signs of jet lag are extreme tiredness, difficulty orienting, concentration problems, balance problems and loss of appetite.
Studies have shown that not only is melatonin exceptionally effective at reducing the severity of jetlag at the destination, but it can even prevent jet lag when taken before the flight.
For optimal use of melatonin preparations to prevent or reduce a jet lag, the following guidelines can help:
Melatonin works better the more time zones you cross.
Melatonin appears to be more effective when traveling in the easterly direction than traveling in the westerly direction.
Melatonin is only successful if taken at the destination in the evening.
Melatonin and stomach ulcers
Melatonin has a healing effect on gastric ulcers
Melatonin has a remarkable healing and gastro-protective effect on gastric ulcers caused by aspirin or by Helicobacter pylori.
The mechanism of the gastrointestinal action of melatonin may be attributed to the improvement of gastric perfusion as well as its anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies have shown that daily intake of melatonin can aid in the healing of gastric ulcers caused by aspirin or the bacterium Helicopter pylori. In one study, there was a significant increase in the rate of cure of helicopter pylori-infected ulcers compared to standard treatment (omeprazole) alone.
It has also been shown that melatonin is gastro-protective when taken with aspirin. This indicates that it can prevent the development of aspirin-induced gastric ulcers.
Melatonin and cancer
Some scientists believe that prolonged exposure to artificial light (light pollution) could be a possible reason for the dramatic increase in cancer rates in the Western world.
It is believed that artificial light disturbs the day-night rhythm and other biological processes that are naturally controlled by the internal biological clock. This is supported by studies that have shown that night shift workers are more likely to develop cancer than people who have a regular daily rhythm.
Night shift workers are exposed to artificial light at night and then to natural sunlight during the day for long periods of time. The increased exposure to light results in a melatonin secretion profile, which can not adapt properly. This leads to an overall reduced release of melatonin, which could probably be the reason for the increased cancer spread.
Recent research on the effect of melatonin on tumors shows that it can limit the induction and progression of tumors. It has also been proven that melatonin has an effect against the metastasis of various cancerous tumors, melanomas and leukemia. In particular, a meta-analysis has shown that the daily intake of melatonin has significantly reduced the death rate in patients with solid cancer tumors after one year.
Although further research is needed on the effect and safety of melatonin as a therapeutic anticancer agent, the effects appear promising.
The current cancer research in the field of melatonin therapy is currently dealing with the following topics:
Clinical studies on the effect of melatonin for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.
Melatonin plays a role in prostate and colon cancer by preventing the proliferation and differentiation of carcinomas.
The effect and termination of melatonin injections in tumor treatment is currently under investigation.
The administration of melatonin appears to help cancer patients to better tolerate chemotherapy.
Melatonin and mental disorders
The main effect of melatonin is to maintain the biological rhythm by promoting the synchronization and stabilization of various processes. There is growing evidence that disturbances in these biological rhythms play an important role in the development of mental disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal depression.
Studies are currently underway to investigate light therapy as a treatment to restore the sleep-wake cycle in patients with serious mental disorders, such as depression. Light therapy aims to increase melatonin production and could improve circadian rhythm and brain function in individuals with mental disorders.
In summary, melatonin theoretically provides a new way to treat these disorders based on the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. Therefore, melatonin is tested for its potential antidepressant activity.
Melatonin and anti-aging
Due to its antioxidant properties, melatonin can help to reduce the signs of aging.
Melatonin can neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS), which play a role in the free radical theory of aging. These harmful ROS, which are highly reactive compounds, can directly damage a number of important biological structures in the body’s cells.
The aging process is associated with the development of cancer, arthritis, neurodegeneration and diabetes, all of which are associated with oxidative stress and the resulting oxidative damage.
With its ROS neutralizing properties, melatonin can directly counteract the damage that these free radicals could potentially cause. Melatonin also has indirect antioxidant properties due to its ability to increase the activity of various antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase.
Superoxide dismutase plays a crucial role in the defense of cells against the harmful effects of oxygen radicals, their activation contributing to the suppression of cell damage.
By the way, the skin forms its own melatonin. Therefore, taking melatonin supplements seems to offer a new method against premature skin aging. Melatonin can also protect the skin from environmental damage such as those caused by UV rays.
Melatonin is available in the form of tablets, capsules, drops or sublingual tablets. Depending on the age and the intended benefit, melatonin can be dosed from 0.5 to 10 mg per day.
Does melatonin have side effects?
Melatonin has low toxicity and is generally well tolerated. Nevertheless, the following side effects can occur with sensitive persons:
Does melatonin interact with other drugs?
Although the interactions of melatonin with medications have not been fully explored, people taking the following medications should consult their physician before taking melatonin.
Medicines for ADSH
Birth control pills
Medicines for diabetes
Medicines that suppress the body’s immune response
Anticoagulants and anti-platelet drugs
Blood pressure medications
Gastric acid inhibitors, such as omeprazole
Ask the Doctor – Is Melatonin UK the secret to a good night’s sleep?
Melatonin UK – Frequently asked questions
To buy Melatonin in the UK, there is only 1 x brand available – “Circadian Tablets”. These contain only a small amount of Melatonin – 2mg and are in time release tablet. Doctors only really supply this drug to the older generation (adults over 55 years old) for the treatment of short term insomnia.
There are many other Melatonin products (brands) availabe in different strengths which can be bought via the internet. Melatonin is available in the USA over the counter and has been approved by the FDA there for many years.
You can buy the highly popular Melatonin sleeping tablets from Dr Backhaus from this website, which contain 4mg per capsule of Melatonin.
Over The Counter (OTC) Melatonin: If you take Melatonin between 1-4 hours before wanting to sleep, Melatonin can move your biological clock to an earlier time. Therefore making a far better atmosphere for getting to sleep and waking up feeling more refreshed. Over the counter Melatonin is great in helping patients who suffer from jet lag or who work shifts.
Which melatonin products are licensed in the UK? To date there is currently only one brand – Circadin – which is licensed in the UK. However there are various sources on the internet, including this website – melatonin-uk.com that offer a far wider range and dosage than Circadian.
For patients who have mild issues in falling asleep: 0.3 to 5 mg of melatonin daily for up to 12 months can been used, however this dosage is not to be used on a daily basis. For patients with more severe sleeping problems including – sleep-wake cycle disturbances: 2 mg to 12 mg taken at bedtime for up to 6-8 weeks has been used successfully.
Melatonin is a powerful natural hormone produced in the brain. A lot of patients do not realise the power of Melatonin and think of it as a sleeping pill. This is wrong. Patients feel urged to take more and more Melatonin will help them to get a better sleep. Taking too much melatonin may actually destroy your sleep cycle. and have an adverse effect and may cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or irritability.
Boots UK (formerly Boots the Chemists Ltd), trading as Boots, is a pharmacy chain in the United Kingdom. It sells many pharmacy, health and beauty products, but due to UK restrictions is not allowed to sell over the counter melatonin supplements to the general public.
Holland & Barrett, the UK’s largest chain of health food shops, has the same restrictions as Boots and is not allowed to sell melatonin in the UK.