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Melatonin...is it really a good idea?


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#1 whateve214

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 03:22 PM


If I took Melatonin most nights out of the week (or even 3), would my body eventually lose its ability to fall asleep for good, on its own? I believe I read somewhere that the brain produces less melatonin on its own if it's taken as a supplement.

I ask this because I have trouble getting to sleep most nights, but I don't want to make my problem even worse in the long run.

#2 ajnast4r

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 05:52 PM

http://www.bachflowe...scue_remedy.htm
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#3 DukeNukem

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 06:49 PM

Melatonin may be one of the most underrated longevity supplements used. Studies in animals show dramatic, CR-like increases to lifespans. I use it every night.

http://www.antiaging...t/melatonin.htm

#4 Athanasios

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 08:04 PM

I am 25 and take 3mg three times a week. It is easily apparent that I get much better sleep. Not only do I get better sleep the days that I take it, but the days in between I get much better sleep as well. In fact, on off days, it feels as if I had taken it. The first week I took it, it felt like I had not had a proper circadian rhythm since I was 9 years old.

#5 Athanasios

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 09:10 PM

The research is still backing reguardless whatever the guy says to get his supplements sold. It is interesting what research has been done on melatonin. Only a few will actually say what they are trying to get at with their research, but the common links in the research studies on the effects of melatonin is intriguing.

#6 zoolander

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 11:50 PM

How about some references? It's not enough to say that "I heard" or "I have read snippets".

Provide the references!! It's so annoying when people who don't really know what they are talking about critisize supplements with goobledegook heresay bullshit! Provide some peer reviewed references!

I totally agree with Duke in that Melatonin is one of the most underrated supplements on the market (period). It's definately in my top 3. I'm currently taking 5mg per night of a timed release formula (Natural Sleep by LEF).

I have been looking into the possible side-effects of long-term melatonin supplementation (eg. receptor downregulation/desensitisation, pineal gland atrophy, endogenous melatonin depletion and so on) for sometime now but have not found any solid, conclusive research that would suggest stopping my current regime.

If you want to have a read of my previous threads about melatonin use the search function
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#7 zoolander

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 03:27 AM

just for the record Martin, this is a scientific community and hence it is preferred that when referring to articles/research you provide a reference. This will give others the opportunity to verify whether your statements are accurate. It is not uncommon for someone to make mistakes when the say "I have read snippets" without having what they have read in front of them. It is especially important to make sure the information that you provide is accurate especially when talking about supplements/nootropics and pharms.

To not provide a reference is just plain lazy in my opinion. At least make an effort.

The following is a link where I discussed melatonin

http://www.imminst.o...hl=melatonin&s=
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#8 doug123

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 03:46 AM

To not provide a reference is just plain lazy in my opinion. At least make an effort.


Don't take Graeme's comments personally Martin. He's just trying to raise the level of discussion.

#9 zoolander

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 03:53 AM

Thanks Adam. You know me too well :)

#10 kottke

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 04:13 AM

Ok, well what about time-released vs regular melatonin?

When is the best time to take melatonin? (how many hours before bed)

What about people with semi-immune disorders? (i.e. allergies)

#11 zoolander

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 04:30 AM

Ok, well what about time-released vs regular melatonin?

When is the best time to take melatonin? (how many hours before bed)

What about people with semi-immune disorders? (i.e. allergies)


let's try and answer the original question first

If I took Melatonin most nights out of the week (or even 3), would my body eventually lose its ability to fall asleep for good, on its own?


From what I have read (see above link) it is unlikely. IMHO, the benefits of melatonin far outweight any suggested risks

#12 kottke

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 05:46 AM

Ok, well what about time-released vs regular melatonin?

When is the best time to take melatonin? (how many hours before bed)

What about people with semi-immune disorders? (i.e. allergies)


let's try and answer the original question first



From what I have read (see above link) it is unlikely. IMHO, the benefits of melatonin far outweight any suggested risks




So the answer is its inconclusive leaning towards probably a good idea; stemming from lots of research done by very creditable (and bright i might add) imminst members.

From here we could ask what the exceptions may be and what is the best method of usage such as: Time-Released vs non TR, best time of night to take before onset of sleep, and contradictions.

#13 zoolander

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 05:54 AM

Time-Released vs non TR


The differences are pretty straight forward. Timed release=either released gradually over time or an a timed release (i.e at 0 hours then at 4 hours). So what are the benefits? Well from personal experiance I find that I wake up in the middle of the night. I am not 100% sure why this may occur. If I take timed release it keeps me asleep. My mother takes non TR and she sleeps well with it. So it comes down to preference and what works better for you I guess

best time of night before onset of sleep


read the label. It is usually anywhere between 15-45 minutes

contraindications


operating machinery.

#14 xanadu

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 07:20 PM

I don't see what's wrong with saying "I heard..." or something like that. People can take it for what it's worth or disregard it. I think people here are capable of sifting through evidence or anecdotes and deciding what's valid or not. Yes, it's better to have referrences but personal experience or those of others is worth something too even if it's not part of a study. I have seen too many pin headed studies that found what the person running it decided to find beforehand. Then later, another study refutes that one. Do your research, have studies if available but feel free to give an opinion or say "I read snippets" if you wish.

Just my opinion.

#15 zoolander

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 12:12 AM

on with the topic.....

#16 whateve214

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 12:03 AM

Thanks for the replies, everyone.

I am 25 and take 3mg three times a week. It is easily apparent that I get much better sleep. Not only do I get better sleep the days that I take it, but the days in between I get much better sleep as well. In fact, on off days, it feels as if I had taken it. The first week I took it, it felt like I had not had a proper circadian rhythm since I was 9 years old.


I'm 25 too, and it's good to see that you're using it successfully... do you feel that it's lost any of its effectiveness over time? For some reason, I'm still scared of taking it A) for fear that I'm too young and B) my body will stop creating enough of its own and I'm almost better off using Ambien as needed until that stops working. But hopefully they're just irrational fears.

#17 Athanasios

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 01:51 AM

I tried to meet zoolanders challenges, by finding reference that melatonin would be bad for us youngins, but I did not find it.

For me, melatonin knocks me out like the first day I have taken it. I sometimes get labeled lame for being tired the next day at the same time I took it the night before. I can fight it, but it is a fight.

#18 whateve214

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 03:06 PM

Thanks for sharing ;) I'm not as scared anymore! Sounds very beneficial..

#19 meatwad

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 05:35 AM

I've hated melatonin in the past, but now that I am a little older (and full of b12!) it may affect me differently.

#20 syr_

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 11:13 AM

I tried to meet zoolanders challenges, by finding reference that melatonin would be bad for us youngins, but I did not find it.


But since the natural levels are still high under 30 there is no reason to take it, period.

#21 Athanasios

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 03:02 PM

This is one drug that has plenty of room for opinion when it comes to supplementation. I wish it were more cut and dry though. Here is a chart that shows amount of melatonin per age. Personally I do not see why 25 would be bad if age 30 would be a good time to start taking it. Anyway, if you are interested in supplementation it is worth reading the link under the chart.


Posted Image

From http://www.benbest.c.../melatonin.html

#22 zoolander

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 03:47 PM

Thank you Cnorwood19

So Syr, going from the above graph it seems that your bold statement is not exactly accurate

#23 syr_

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 07:04 PM

The chart I saw was different, the Melatonin was almost at the top up to 30y.

If the graph abore is true, I would start using it at 21.

#24 Athanasios

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 11:05 PM

I would love to see the graph that you saw, if you can still find the source. From what I have read, the above graph seems to be fairly consistant with peak night time levels. If we looked at total amount released or average per hour released, the results may vary.

#25 syr_

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 10:17 PM

Cant find it anymore. It contained melatonin, DHEA and Testosterone all on the same graph. The scale was larger and I believe yours is more accurate.

Anyway, my opinion about melatonin is the same, I would consider only as a part of HRT, not as sleep aid (unless taken very very occasionally). And before starting HRT testing accurately your baseline is fundamental.

#26 nicholandrew

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 08:28 AM

Melatonin is a hormone made by a part of the brain called the pineal gland. "At night melatonin is produced to help our bodies regulate our sleep-wake cycles. The amount of it produced by our body seems to lessen as we get older. Scientists believe this may be why young people have less problem sleeping than older people. Melatonin supplements may help people whose natural sleep cycles have been disturbed, including those with jet lag, withdrawing from sleeping medications, and those with diabetes, autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Other potential uses of melatonin include the reduction of symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and the prevention of cluster headaches.

Removed commercial links. -Funk

Edited by FunkOdyssey, 08 January 2007 - 03:01 PM.


#27 Athanasios

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 02:43 PM

Welcome!

The concern presented by others is if supplementing with melatonin will reduce the amount of melatonin your body normally makes. If it did, supplementing would not be the good idea it seems after all.

#28 maestro949

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 03:22 PM

I searched around a bit and couldn't find much that indicated that any long-term studies have been done. Overall you may sleep better and there might be some anti-aging affect based on rodent studies but nothing conclusive in regards to whateve214's concern.

My main concern is that the body may be down-regulating melatonin for a specific reason. Artificially adjusting melatonin (or any other hormone) without adjusting other related parameters could easily cause just as much harm as good in the long-term. The notion of restoring hormone levels to a youthful level of expression is indeed attactive but it ends up being a game of playing with dials hoping to get the optimal settings for all. Get one wrong and oops! The problem is that there are 1000s of dials and getting them all "right" would take several generations of long-term trials.

There are quite a few people taking melatonin so it's apparently safe for short-term usage but the long-term affects will remain unknown and taking it effectively becomes a trial of sorts. It would be great if we could somehow collectively gather this data without costly double-blind clinical trials. If nothing else, future generations can learn from us tinkering with our endocrine systems and metabolic pathways.

#29 zoolander

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 03:29 PM

The concern presented by others is if supplementing with melatonin will reduce the amount of melatonin your body normally makes. If it did, supplementing would not be the good idea it seems after all.


That's one angle and I cannot find any published evidence that supports the above.

Another possibility that has been put forward is that supplementation with melatonin may lead to a downregulation/desensitization of melatonin receptors over time thus reducing the effects of both endogenous and exogenous melatonin.

The only thing that I have found that may support this argument is

FASEB J. 2004 Nov;18(14):1646-56.

    Melatonin desensitizes endogenous MT2 melatonin receptors in the rat suprachiasmatic nucleus: relevance for defining the periods of sensitivity of the mammalian circadian clock to melatonin.

        * Gerdin MJ,
        * Masana MI,
        * Rivera-Bermudez MA,
        * Hudson RL,
        * Earnest DJ,
        * Gillette MU,
        * Dubocovich ML.

    Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611-3008, USA.

    The hormone melatonin phase shifts circadian rhythms generated by the mammalian biological clock, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, through activation of G protein-coupled MT2 melatonin receptors. This study demonstrated that pretreatment with physiological concentrations of melatonin (30-300 pM or 7-70 pg/mL) decreased the number of hMT2 melatonin receptors heterologously expressed in mammalian cells in a time and concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, hMT2-GFP melatonin receptors heterologously expressed in immortalized SCN2.2 cells or in non-neuronal mammalian cells were internalized upon pretreatment with both physiological (300 pM or 70 pg/mL) and supraphysiological (10 nM or 2.3 ng/mL) concentrations of melatonin. The decrease in MT2 melatonin receptor number induced by melatonin (300 pM for 1 h) was reversible and reached almost full recovery after 8 h; however, after treatment with 10 nM melatonin full recovery was not attained even after 24 h. This recovery process was partially protein synthesis dependent. Furthermore, exposure to physiological concentrations of melatonin (300 pM) for a time mimicking the nocturnal surge (8 h) desensitized functional responses mediated through melatonin activation of endogenous MT2 receptors, i.e., stimulation of protein kinase C (PKC) in immortalized SCN2.2 cells and phase shifts of circadian rhythms of neuronal firing in the rat SCN brain slice. We conclude that in vivo the nightly secretion of melatonin desensitizes endogenous MT2 melatonin receptors in the mammalian SCN thereby providing a temporally integrated profile of sensitivity of the mammalian biological clock to a melatonin signal.

    PMID: 15522910 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Note that they refer to in vivo endogenous i.e. your own, nightly secretion of melatonin desensitizing MT2 melatonin receptors and not melatonin supplementation

For me the evidence regarding the benefits of melatonin as an potent anti-aging/anti-carcinogenic supplement far outweighs what seems to be only a suggested risk of desenstizing your own sleep-wake cycles.

I'm 35 years old and take 5mg each night.

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#30 maestro949

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 06:47 PM

Dr. Reiter studies and is a big proponent of melatonin. He wrote a book on it. Here's what he had to say in 2002:

Light, melatonin and aging

Russel J. Reiter

Department of Cellular and Structural Biology; University of Texas Health Science Center, San
Antonio, TX, USA; E -mail: reiter@uthscsa.edu

The suppressive effect of light on the synthesis and secretion of melatonin from the pineal gland is
well documented. The mechanisms of light suppression involve retinal photopigment activation,
inhibition of the electrical activity of the biological clock (the suprachiasmatic nuclei or SCN) and
reduced neural activity in the cephalic division of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system. This
leads to the diminished release of norepinephrine from postganglionic neurons that end in the
vicinity of the melatonin-producing cells in the pineal gland. As a consequence, the enzymes that
mediate darkness-induced stimulation of melatonin production are shut down and the levels of
melatonin in the blood are diminished. Imposition of light, when sufficiently intense and of the
proper wavelength, during darkness even if of very short duration, suppresses the production of
melatonin. Melatonin levels also are diminished in the elderly due to destruction of ? -adrenergic
receptors on the pinealocyte membranes and a result of an attenuated neural message from the SCN
as a consequence of destruction of the neurons in this nuclear group. One factor which significantly
reduces the degenerative signs of aging in old animals, i.e., food restriction, also curtails the loss of
endogenous melatonin production. A number of studies have suggested that the loss of melatonin
may be consequential in the processes of aging or in the frequency/severity of age-related diseases.
Thus, melatonin has been used, primarily in experimental animals but also in some human studies, to
reduce the onset and progression of neuronal loss and the behavioral consequences of tissue
destruction. Furthermore, the primary theory of aging implicates free radicals as a major cause of
molecular damage in the aged. Antioxidants, such as melatonin, prevent free radical-mediated
damage and preserve tissue integrity and function. Any factor that suppresses endogenous melatonin synthesis may be consequential in terms of the aging process. Thus, the loss of melatonin due to light exposure may contribute to free radical-induced mitochondrial damage, reduced ATP production, and organ deterioration. Indeed, supplementing mice during the latter half of their life with physiological levels of melatonin, maintains more optimal mitochondrial physiology and reduces oxidative damage, both of which could be significant in deferring processes of aging. Light exposure during the normal dark period inhibits melatonin production and the loss of this antioxidant may be consequential free radical-mediated, age-associated diseases.

Source






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