Skip Navigation Links
 



                     


 



   
    Learn More     Subscribe    
Join Now!      Login
 
 
 
FREE HEALTH
NEWSLETTER
 
 
Breast Cancer Quiz
More than three-quarters of women who get breast cancer are over whtat age?
 
 
 
 
N
atural Hormones
 
Melatonin: A Supplement for the Future? .... or Tonight?

© Ray Sahelian MD

I felt unsettled. I subscribe to this newsletter and have generally found the articles to not only be of high quality, but to present a moderate and objective viewpoint when dealing with complex nutritional issues. If I hadn't researched the scientific studies and treated patients with melatonin, I would not have challenged their conclusion.

In the summer and fall of 1995, more books about melatonin followed mine. At least two of these books hyped that melatonin supplements would reverse the aging process and lead to a better sex life.

You will be exposed to various opinions from researchers, medical institutions, physicians, authors, and organizations regarding melatonin's effectiveness, safety, and potential for treatment of various conditions. As you formulate your decision on whose opinion to follow, please consider the following factors:

  • Is their opinion backed up by solid research? Do they list references?
  • Are they making definitive claims for melatonin's benefits for humans based purely on laboratory and rodent studies?
  • Have they done any clinical surveys or treated patients before formulating their conclusions?

    Do not assume that an opinion from a major medical center—or me, or any other physician, researcher, or organization—is gospel. For instance, the Johns Hopkins and Berkeley Wellness Newsletter articles didn't mention a word about the effect of melatonin on dreams, nor of the studies that found life span extension in rodents when given melatonin. This makes me wonder how much clinical experience the authors really had with melatonin and how much time they spent reviewing research articles. Having worked and studied in renowned hospitals, I know from first-hand experience that some of the physicians who write opinions on particular issues don't necessarily have the needed time to fully read hundreds of articles before formulating their conclusions. They have hospital rounds to perform, lectures to present, meetings to preside over, other types of research to conduct, and recommendations to make on various other medicines and medical illnesses. Furthermore, academics are often insulated from the practical side of day-to-day office medicine. Large institutions are also very cautious and conservative about making new recommendations. Being overcautious by not recommending the use of a safe sleep supplement can be a disservice to the public when the alternative sleep medicines themselves are known to have serious, and potentially fatal, side effects. Patients taking pharmaceutical sleep aids have been known to experience psychosis and loss of memory. Seizures have occurred upon withdrawal.

    Throughout this book I will discuss the benefits of melatonin, its uncertainties, and its shortcomings. I will try to present an objective viewpoint based on scientific research, my clinical experience, and the results of my surveys.

    Is Melatonin Effective?
    I have found that 80% of all melatonin users like its sleep-promoting effects and would take it again if needed. About 10% did not feel a significant effect or felt it was too weak for them as a sleep aid, and the rest have not had a good experience with melatonin and did not wish to continue with it.

    Is Melatonin Safe?
    Whenever researchers want to test the dangers of a substance they give it to laboratory animals such as mice. They give progressively higher and higher doses of the substance until a lethal dose (LD) is reached where 50% of the test animals die. This level is called the LD 50. Back in 1967, at the National Heart Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, Barchas and his colleagues gave mice 800 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight of melatonin. The mice exhibited no significant ill effects. The researchers needed to give more to find the LD 50, but they could not concentrate the melatonin any further in the amount of liquid that the mice had to drink. The 800 mg/kg is equivalent to giving an average-sized human over 50,000 mg. No other effective sleep inducer is this safe. As we'll discuss later, most people do well with a nightly dose of 3 mg or less.

  • Add your comment   CONTINUED      Previous   1  2  3  4  5  Next   
    About The Author
    Ray Sahelian, M.D., is a popular and respected physician who has been seen on numerous television programs including NBC Today, Dateline NBC, and CNN, and quoted by countless major magazines such as Newsweek He is the bestselling author of Mind Boosters, Natural Sex Boosters, and ...more
     
    Share   Facebook   Buzz   Delicious   Digg   Twitter  
     
     
     
     
     
     
    From Our Sponsor
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Featured Events
    Wellness Inventory Certification Training
         September 16-December 16, 2014
         Teleclass, CA USA
     
    Additional Calendar Links
     
    Wellness, Self Responsibility, Love, dimension!

    Search   
    Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
    Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
    Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us

    Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.