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Benefits Of Melatonin Supplementation

Many people think of Melatonin supplementation as just helping them achieve a more restful quality sleep. While that is certainly true, Melatonin supplementation also yields many other important benefits that are supported by countless studies and clinical trials. What follows is a short recap of those benefits:

  • Sleep Disorders – This is the best-known benefit of Melatonin supplementation. When taken 30-90 minutes before bedtime, Melatonin acts as a mild hypnotic. Melatonin levels in the bloodstream rise and in most cases sleep begins 30-90 minutes sooner.  Melatonin is the standard treatment for “Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome”. It also is also used to help minimize the effects of jet lag. Melatonin supplementation also helps people working night shifts adjust to daylight sleep cycles. It is also a recommended treatment for people with Insomnia.
  • Headaches (Migraines/Cluster) - Several clinical studies indicate that supplementation with melatonin is an effective preventive treatment for migraines and cluster headaches.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease - Melatonin receptors appear to be important in mechanisms of learning and memory in mice, and melatonin can alter electrophysiological processes associated with memory. Several clinical trials are now underway with people, to determine if Melatonin will help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Cancer – A systematic review of un-blinded clinical involving a total of 643 cancer patients using melatonin found a reduced incidence of death. Another clinical trial is due to be completed in 2012.
  • Anti-Oxidant - Melatonin is a powerful anti-oxidant and suppressant of tumor development that is produced at night; when someone works in artificial light, they generally have lower melatonin and may be more likely to develop cancer. Melatonin supplements simulate the melatonin production at different times that does not occur during regular sleeping hours for people who work night shifts.
  • Obesity - Melatonin is involved in energy metabolism and body weight control in small animals. Many studies show that melatonin supplementation reduces body weight and abdominal fat in experimental animals. It is interesting to note that the weight loss effect of melatonin does not require the animals to eat less and to be physically more active. Whether the results of animal studies can be extrapolated to human obesity is a matter of future clinical trials.
  • Anti-Aging - Aging Research has supported the anti-aging properties of melatonin. Younger children hit their peak melatonin production at night, and some researchers believe that the level of melatonin peaks earlier as we get older. This may explain why older adults go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, and have more sleep problems than children do.[ Some studies have shown that melatonin plays a crucial part in the aging process and that it may act as an anti-aging agent when taken by older adults. d the longevity of the mice. The researchers hope these results can also be applied to humans.
  • Drug Abuse - Basic research indicates that melatonin may play a significant role in modulating the effects of drugs of abuse such as cocaine.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Research shows that after melatonin is administered to ADHD patients reduced the time needed to fall asleep.
  • Gallbladder Stones - Melatonin presence in the gallbladder has many protective properties, such as converting cholesterol to bile, preventing oxidative stress, and increasing the mobility of gallstones from the gallbladder. It also decreases the amount of cholesterol produced in the gallbladder by regulating the cholesterol that passes through the intestinal wall.
  • Mood Disorders - Melatonin has been shown to be effective in treating one form of depression and is being considered as a therapy for Bipolar Disorder.

By: Stephen Lapidus

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