Melatonin Essay

Submitted By KrystalS2
Words: 740
Pages: 3

Melatonin Melatonin is a hormone. It is made by the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin’s niche in the in the body is to regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Darkness is what triggers the pineal gland to produce melatonin, preparing the body to sleep. Light slows down melatonin production, therefore having the effect of “being awake”. This is why we feel tired on overcast, rainy days. The absence of sunlight tells the pineal gland to produce more melatonin, telling our bodies to prepare for sleep. It has also been found that some people have naturally low levels of melatonin. Studies have shown that a supplement can help regulate these low levels. There are two sources of origin for this particular supplement. It is found in animal pineal tissue, and this use of melatonin is called natural. Although this way is natural it has the potential to be more dangerous. Using animal melatonin is a risk because it could carry viral material from animal to human. The other source of melatonin is synthetic. Synthetic means that it is manmade. This factor makes this source of melatonin safer because scientists can control what ingredients are in the supplement. It is important to know where your supplement came from. If you don’t know ask your primary doctor, pharmacist, or herbal consultant.
The FDA has not evaluated melatonin supplements for purity, effectiveness, and safety. Due to this there are no regulated manufacturing standards for melatonin. This means that finding other contaminations such has toxic metals or other drugs aren’t likely, but not unheard of. There are three forms of melatonin. They are most commonly found in pill form, but are also available in buccal or sublingual forms that melt and are absorbed into the bloodstream almost instantly. Melatonin supplements have not been extensively studied so there are a lot of unanswered questions with its use, but it is thought to have several helpful uses.
Uses of melatonin supplements include but are not limited to: shift-work disorder, helping blind people establish a sleep-wake cycle, insomnia, reducing the side effects of quitting smoking, Alzheimer’s disease, ringing in the ears(tinnitus), depression, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, osteoporosis, migraines, epilepsy, and to subside side effects to chemotherapy. The most common use of melatonin is for insomnia. There are several reasons for insomnia, making it the most widespread problem that can be helped with melatonin supplements. Insomnia due to ADHD, autism, cerebral palsy, and mental retardation in children suggest 5 mg at 8:00 PM daily. Sustained-release and immediate-release supplements have been used. When it is used as a chemotherapy aide it is suggested to take 10-50 mg a day starting seven days before treatment. To aide metastatic cancer is suggested to combine 20 mg of melatonin with 3.75 mg of triptorelin and inject the combination into the muscle every 28 days. It is also believed that by applying melatonin directly