The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter, in its January, 1996 issue, affirmed, "Taking melatonin for insomnia is ill-advised because little is known about the hormone's overall effect."
My opinion differs from those who object to the current use of melatonin. Based on the available clinical and scientific data thus far, I believe there is enough evidence to support the occasional use of melatonin. It is a good alternative to prescription sleeping pills.
My opinion also differs from those who boldly assert that melatonin supplements will reverse the aging process. It's too early to make this claim. Perhaps after a few more years of research I may feel more comfortable in recommending melatonin as an anti-aging hormone. Furthermore, my clinical experience does not suggest regular use of melatonin leads to better sex, as some authors claim.
Even though melatonin is a very safe supplement for short-term use, and promises to be safe for intermittent, longer-term use in low doses, such as 1 mg or less, it is still important that we follow appropriate cautions until more information is available.
Read my book, DHEA: A Practical Guide, completely, especially the CAUTION section beginning on page 77, before initiating use.
After reading the following chapters, you, in consultation with your physician, will need to decide whether melatonin is appropriate for your needs and whether both of you feel comfortable with its safety. If your physician is not familiar with melatonin, suggest he or she read this book.
Melatonin became well-established as the most talked about health supplement of the decade when Newsweek repeated an article about it in its November 6 issue— and made it a cover story! USA Today had a feature article on December 20, 1995…and the media coverage of this intriguing hormone is bound to continue for a long time.
Over the next few years many individuals who have insomnia will be helped by melatonin. A group most likely to appreciate its benefits may be seniors.