Jun 29, 2021 10:05:55 AM / by Dr. Isadora Guggenheim
The Benefits of Melatonin Melatonin is a hormone made in several parts of the body, and melatonin receptors exist all over the body. As one gets older, the amount of melatonin produced decreases. Melatonin production is dependent on the NAT enzyme, which depends on the body’s storage of vitamin B6. Melatonin is mainly known for improving sleep. However, melatonin has a multitude of other functions, including: aiding the immune system, helping prevent cancer and treat some cancers, decreasing the risk of heart disease, and more. In addition, it has several therapeutic benefits. It lowers cardiovascular risk, protects against neurodegenerative disease (eg Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease), regulates insulin and weight, synchronizes the body’s circadian rhythm, treats COVID-19, is important in gastrointestinal functioning, etc. Specifically, in the GI tract, melatonin can improve symptoms of GERD when used alone or with omeprazole. It also provides the GI mucosa from ulceration and positively influences gut activity. For those with IBS, melatonin appears to be a promising therapeutic agent that can improve pain, quality in life, and circadian rhythm. Melatonin deficiency can be caused by electromagnetic fields, acetaminophen, alcohol abuse, certain medications, and other sources. Those with melatonin deficiency experience difficulty sleeping, fatigue, anxiety, and problems with their immune system. Melatonin can be found in many foods, including corn, peanuts, rice, black and green tea, strawberries, broccoli, and more. Caution should be taken for those with autoimmune disease, are pregnant, breastfeeding, take steroids, have mental illness, leukemia, or lymphoma as melatonin is an immune stimulator. Elevated levels of melatonin commonly result from taking too large of a dose, taking it when not needed, consuming too much melatonin-rich food, and being on certain medications. Signs of elevated levels include daytime tiredness, depression, headaches, etc. Women are more sensitive to melatonin than men when taking it for insomnia. Additionally, the dosage may need to be lowered with age. For females under the age of 55, it is recommended to take 0.25 to 1 mg, 30 to 60 minutes before sleep. For men under 55, it is recommended to take 1 to 3 mg in the same time frame. This dosage changes with those older than 55 and patients using it for cancer or COVID-19. It is highly recommended for chronic viral illnesses. We recommend Xymogen's Melatonin CR. Go to www.wholescripts.com Passcode: SECOND NATURE Practitioner: GUGGENHEIM Reference: Smith, P. (Feb/March 2021). Melatonin: More Than Just the Hormone That Regulates Sleep. Townsend Letter, (451/52). 30-34.