What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone synthesized and secreted by the pineal gland each night that affects the body's circadia rhythm (sleep pattern).
The pineal gland functions as the timekeeper of the brain, helping manage the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin production in the body is triggered by darkness and inhibited by light, helping the body manage its natural sleep rhythm.
Discovered in the 1950s as a neurohormone (N-acetyl-5 methoxytryptamine) produced in the brain by the pineal gland from the amino acid tryptophan, melatonin became available as a dietary supplement in 1994.
The precursor of melatonin, tryptophan (L-tryptophan), is an essential amino acid synthesized from proteins during digestion via the action of proteolytic enzymes. During the day. it is converted to serotonin (a brain chemical involved with mood) before being converted to melatonin.
Melatonin has also been demonstrated to have powerful antioxidant properties, protecting cells from damage caused by free radical molecules.
Purity and Concentration of Melatonin
This melatonin is a pure powder with no fillers, additives or anti-caking agents. Store in a cool, dry, dark area away from any heat source of direct sunlight.
|Note: It is always recommended to verify these measurements with an accurate digital scale.
Warning: The amounts indicated in this table greatly exceed the recommended serving amount.
|Measuring Spoon Size
||Miligrams of Melatonin
Potential Side Effects of Melatonin
Melatonin should not be taken by people using certain antidepressants, such as Prozac (a serotonin inhibitor) or Nardil (a monoamine oxidase inhibitor). Interaction between melatonin and these types of antidepressants can cause a stroke or heart attack. Preliminary symptoms include confusion, sweating, shaking, fever, lack of coordination, elevated blood pressure, diarrhea and convulsions.
Melatonin should only be taken before sleep. Vivid dreams and morning grogginess are common melatonin side effects on daily serving sizes greater than 0.5 milligrams. People taking blood thinners, antiseizure drugs, blood pressure medications, diabetes medications or hormone replacements should avoid melatonin supplements, as they may interfere with the effectiveness of these medications. This product is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.
Bioavailability, Mixing and Solubility
Melatonin is practically insoluble in water however, it is however easily dissolved in ethanol.
References & Further Research
University of Maryland Medical Center: Melatonin
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates herbal and other dietary supplements differently than conventional medicines. The standards for supplements are found in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), a federal law that defines dietary supplements and sets product-labeling standards and health claim limits.
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