Each capsule contains:
Melatonin 3 mg.
Sleep Disorders and Other Conditions Related to Abnormal Production of Melatonin
The pineal hormone, melatonin, is a simple derivative of tryptophan and serotonin. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, which is eventually converted to melatonin.
Endogenous melatonin is synthesized and released in response to light and dark on the retina. Its secretion is inhibited by bright light. It has also been suggested that chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields may suppress melatonin production. Accumulating data supports the use of melatonin supplements for:
Patients with insomnia, phase-delay or other sleep disturbances, Shift workers or others who are exposed to light at night, Jet-lagged travelers, Those who are occupationally exposed to electromagnetic fields, Women at high risk for breast cancer, Patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD),
Melatonin Can Correct Abnormal Sleep Cycles
There is accumulating data that, since secretion of melatonin is inhibited by bright light, supplementation can benefit jet lagged travelers, shift workers, the elderly and others with disturbed sleep patterns.
Elderly insomniacs have reduced blood levels of melatonin. In a 3-week Israeli study, 9 people, age 68 to 80, who were otherwise healthy but suffering from insomnia, took 2 mgs. of melatonin daily. The amount of time it took to fall asleep was cut from 40 minutes to 15 minutes. The subjects also slept longer without waking up and reported a more refreshing sleep. This group duplicated their initial findings in 30 elderly subjects.
Another Israeli study showed how individuals who could not fall asleep until five in the morning, and were then not able to wake up before noon could reset their biological clock to a normal sleep cycle by taking melatonin 2 hours before the desired bedtime. This type of sleep disorder is called a phase-delay syndrome. Once a patient achieves the desired bedtime, the melatonin can be stopped.
In another study, children with severe chronic sleep disorders were given 2 to 10 mg. of oral melatonin at bedtime. All had previously failed conventional therapy. Not all, but a significant portion of the patients improved.
Supplemental melatonin may also improve sleep disturbances caused by drugs that can alter normal melatonin protection.
Melatonin has been reported to have a “hypnotic” effect which may be exerted through thermo-regulatory mechanisms. By reducing core temperature, melatonin can reduce arousal and increase sleep-propensity. Because melatonin has both a hypnotic effect and an effect on circulating rhythm, there is a synergistic action in the treatment of sleep related disorders.
Antioxidative Defense Against Damaging Hydroxyl Free Radical
Oxygen based radicals are a natural consequence of aerobic metabolism and the evolution of oxygen scavengers to protect the integrity of the cell and its organelles was a necessity. Melatonin is the most potent and efficient free radical scavenger to date. It specifically scavenges the most damaging free radical, the hydroxyl radical, and has easy access to every portion of the cell.
Melatonin acts as a primary non-enzymatic antioxidative defense against the destruction caused by hydroxyl free radicals and, along with structurally related tryptophan metabolites, is principally involved in the prevention of oxidative stress in a diverse range of organisms.
Melatonin’s actions depend on membrane-bound receptors. Melatonin goes through membranes and invades every part of the cell. This is an important feature of a free radical scavenging molecule. Some of melatonin’s most important actions are not a consequence of an interaction of the molecule with receptors on the limiting membrane of the cell.
Aged animals and humans are melatonin-deficient and more sensitive to oxidative stress. Some researchers suggest that the antioxidative action of melatonin can retard the rate of aging and the time of onset of age-related diseases.
Suggested Link between Low Melatonin and Breast Cancer
Melatonin can inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cell lines in vitro and has been shown to suppress mammary tumorigenesis in experimental animals. Therefore, as a supplement, it may also be used to help protect against breast cancer.
While it has not been proven that low levels of melatonin contributes to the risk of breast cancer, there is evidence that suggests a link between the two:
It has been suggested that chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields may increase the risk of breast cancer by suppressing the normal nocturnal rise in pineal melatonin.
In animal models electromagnetic fields have reduced melatonin levels.
Daylight suppresses the production of melatonin by the pineal gland; this has been shown to lead to an increased rate of mammary tumors, possibly by melatonin effects on prolactin production and/or its effects on tumor cells.
In rat models, uninterrupted exposure to light increases the incidence of mammary tumors and when the uninterrupted light exposure is eliminated, tumor growth is reduced.
Recent epedimiologic data suggests increased risk of breast cancer in workers occupationally exposed to electromagnetic fields. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women in the industrialized world, but the incidence of breast cancer is low in nonindustrialized areas.
Since electric power is a hallmark of industrialized nations, light-at-night and electromagnetic fields may decrease production of melatonin by the pineal gland.
All hospital discharges in the National Hospital Discharge Survey from 1979 to 1987 were evaluated and it was found that profoundly blind women were half as likely to have breast cancer as women who were not profoundly blind.
Injection of melatonin into animals can reduce the incidence and size of tumors.
Melatonin has been shown to reduce the rate of breast tumor growth in animal models and has been administered to patients with cancer to inhibit cell proliferation.
SAD Patients Have Abnormal Seasonal Variations in Melatonin
Patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) have an abnormal seasonal variation and suppression of melatonin by light.
Within the last decade the American Psychiatric Association has recognized Seasonal Affective Disorder as a distinct subcategory of affective disorders. The incidence may be as much as 5% in the general population and may account for 16-38% of clinically defined depression.
WARNING: This information is provided for the health professionals only. This publication and the product contained herein have not been approved or evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This publication, and the product contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The product relates to nutritional support only.