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Melatonin...is it really a good idea?


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#31 xanadu

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 07:31 PM

Melatonin has negligable effects helping me sleep. It's only of use as HRT for anti aging effects. I don't agree that everything we see in nature is always the best thing. Cancer, for one example and dying at the young age of 50 or 60 is another example of what we see in nature that we should not just accept. Likewise, declining melatonin levels can and should be supplemented.

#32 VP.

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 06:48 AM

Ouroboros has some has comments on a new study about melatonin's possible anti skin aging properties:

Melatonin is a hormone involved in regulation of sleep and the circadian rhythm, as well as the immune system. The molecule has also been demonstrated to have a positive effect on lifespan in some rodent model systems, though it is unclear whether this is due to receptor-mediated functions or can instead be ascribed to its potent antioxidant activity.

A recent study by Eþrefoðlu et al. demonstrates that supplemental melatonin slows age-related deterioration, including severe mitochondrial dystrophy, in the skin of pinealectomized rats (the pineal gland is the site of melatonin production):

… The present study was aimed to determine the fine structure of the abdominal and thoracic skin in pinealectomized rats and the effect of melatonin on skin ultrastructure. Rats were pinealectomized or sham operated (control) for 6 months. Half of the pinealectomized rats were treated with 4 mg/kg melatonin during the last month of the experiment. Pinealectomy resulted in prominent ultrastructural changes in the skin. Epidermal atrophy, disorganization and cytological atypia were obvious. Tonofilament distribution was not uniform, and intercellular space was narrow. Nuclear irregularity and heterochromatin condensation were detected. Many mitochondria were irregular and edematous with increased translucence of the matrix, either partial or total destruction of crests and frequently the presence of vacuoles, myelin figures and dense bodies. … The epidermis in melatonin administered pinealectomized rats was obviously thicker than that of pinealectomized rats. The cells of each layers had characteristic morphological and ultrastructural features. Nuclear irregularity and heterochromatin condensation were not seen. Mitochondria were generally normal in ultrastructural appearance but rarely vacuoles and myelin figures were observed. … This paper provides an additional ultrastructural evidence that the damage to mitochondria is the major contributory factor to skin aging and that melatonin has potent therapeutic effects in reducing age-related changes via protecting fine structure of the skin.

While the system may seem a little bit artificial (an major hormone-producing gland has been removed), I think the logic is sound: Pinealectomized rats undergo premature skin aging, implying that some product of the pineal is working to prevent skin aging in an unmolested rat. Adding back melatonin alone (of all the many hormones now absent) prevents this premature aging completely, implying that melatonin is the relevant pineal product.

One alternative interpretation is that the pineal produces some other product that prevents skin aging, but that the mechanism of skin aging is primarily oxidative, so that the truly gigantic doses of melatonin used here (4 mg/kg, or ~300 mg for a human adult; by comparison, the over-the-counter pills one can buy to help with jetlag or sleep disorders are 1 to 3 mg each) are acting via the compound’s antioxidant properties rather than its receptor-mediated functions.

An open question is whether supplemental melatonin will slow or prevent dermal aging in animals with intact pineal glands. The levels of melatonin produced at night do decrease with age, so it’s possible that at some point in the lifespan the hormone is present at insufficient levels to prevent the cellular damage described here. If that happens before other forces have wreaked havoc, and can therefore be considered a primary cause of early age-related decline in skin cells, then supplementation should be a good strategy for extending the healthy functionality of the body’s largest organ.

Something to think about. I’ll sleep on it.




I take it for it's sleep effects but it appears to do much more. http://ouroboros.wordpress.com/

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#33 syr_

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 12:25 PM

Melatonin has negligable effects helping me sleep. It's only of use as HRT for anti aging effects. I don't agree that everything we see in nature is always the best thing. Cancer, for one example and dying at the young age of 50 or 60 is another example of what we see in nature that we should not just accept. Likewise, declining melatonin levels can and should be supplemented.


I really like your thinking :)
Improving the quality of life (or maintaining it high) is what proper HRT is all about.

#34 maestro949

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 12:42 PM

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


What made you decide that this was the right dosage? I took 1.5mg and slept 10 freakin' hours two nights ago. Last night I took about .5mg and slept a solid 8 hours (I usually sleep 5-6). My system has always been hypersensitive to even minute chemical changes so that may be why but I don't think I'd wake up for a few weeks with 5mg [:o]

Did you build up to that because it became less effective over time or is that what just seems to work best for you?

#35 zoolander

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 01:47 PM

I'm using a timed release melatonin called Natural sleep by LEF

2.5 mg immediate release and then a timed 2.5mg release 4 hours after the initial dose.

I respond fairly well to 1mg. After doing some reading I decided to try a larger dose. Meltonin supplementation basically just mimics your normal physiological release of melatonin which basic works to initiate the "falling to sleep" phase.

#36 lynx

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 08:16 PM

I am a fan of melatonin suppression by bright light stimulation in the morning.

#37 maestro949

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 12:41 PM

I am a fan of melatonin suppression by bright light stimulation in the morning.


This is used to treat seasonal depression (SAD). Negative Ions too.

#38 boily

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 11:21 AM

I've just tried 3mg melatonin lozenges the last few nights and have slept incredibly well. 8 solid hours seem to pass so quickly, and I've been awakening with higher energy levels,(could be from a few other different supplements I started on the same day) Info on melatonin sounds good, and not an expensive one to take...

#39 FunkOdyssey

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 02:50 PM

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.

I've read before that supplementation in the range of 300-500mcg of melatonin closely approximates our natural physiological production. Is there evidence that consuming 3mg or more (pharmacological doses) long-term is optimal or safe in comparison?

Edited by FunkOdyssey, 08 January 2007 - 05:12 PM.


#40 health_nutty

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 04:57 PM

Melatonin always made me very groggy in the morning at 3 mg (taken the night before). I would try to quarter the pills the best I could, but I would still feel a bit groggier. I don't currently take melatonin now.

Funk, the 300-500mcg makes a *lot* of sense after my "experiences".

Edit: 3grams -> 3 mg ;)

Edited by health_nutty, 08 January 2007 - 06:19 PM.


#41 Athanasios

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 06:26 PM

I've read before that supplementation in the range of 300-500mcg of melatonin closely approximates our natural physiological production.  Is there evidence that consuming 3mg or more (pharmacological doses) long-term is optimal or safe in comparison?


I have been interested in the decrease of core temperature when taking melatonin. If you hunt for a while, you can find studies looking at dose in relation to body temp. The findings show a difference between lower dosages and higher dosages.

J Pineal Res. 1996 May;20(4):192-7. Links

    The hypothermic effect of melatonin on core body temperature: is more better?

        * Dawson D,
        * Gibbon S,
        * Singh P.

    Centre for Sleep Research, School of Psychology, University of South Australia, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Australia.

    Recent studies have shown that melatonin is both hypnotic and hypothermic at physiological levels. Indeed, the hypnotic effect may be mediated via the hypothermic action. If this is the case, it is important to explore the dose-response relationships for the thermoregulatory effects of melatonin. Four groups of eight healthy adults (n = 32), aged between 18 and 38, each underwent two 12-hr bedrest protocols in which core body temperature (CT) and plasma melatonin levels were measured concurrently between 0800 and 2000 hr. For each group, subjects ingested either sucrose placebo or a 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, or 5.0 mg melatonin capsule at 1600 hr in a double-blind counterbalanced cross-over design. Melatonin was absorbed rapidly, with peak levels being reached after 1 hr at all dose levels. Mean peak plasma melatonin levels increased from physiological to pharmacological levels in a dose-dependent manner. Elimination for all dose levels was rapid, with mean plasma half-lives between 33 and 47 min. At the lower doses the mean drop in CT was between 0.05 and 0.15 degrees C and took between 2 and 3 hr. At the higher doses (1.0 and 5.0 mg), CT fell by 0.25-0.3 degrees C within 30-60 min following ingestion and at the highest dose (5 mg) remained suppressed for the duration of the study. While the magnitude and duration of the drop increased in what appeared to be a dose-dependent manner, it is unlikely that this relationship reflects a simple dose-response curve. There was considerable variability in plasma profiles following administration, particularly at the two lowest doses (0.1 and 0.5 mg).  The lower mean drop in CT probably reflects the lower proportion of subjects achieving physiological plasma levels, and therefore a hypothermic effect, at the two lowest doses. If melatonin is to be used to improve sleep onset and maintenance by lowering CT, doses between 1.0 and 5.0 mg appear to be the lowest that produce a consistent drop in CT across all subjects.

    PMID: 8836952 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



#42 boily

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 08:08 PM

Thanks guys for the reply's. 300mcg is a tiny amount, could that have a noticable effect. 3mg certainly does for me, but I certainly wouldn't want to create any future problems. BTW I just turned 32 years old.

#43 maestro949

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 08:42 PM

I've been reducing my intake to find the minimum amount needed for a solid night's sleep. I started at 3mg which was rediculously too much for me. I'm now at a point where I take a 1mg pill, smash it into dust, dab some on my finger and take that. Probably about 50-100 micrograms worth. It still knocks me out for 7+ solid hours of sleep and I still have extra-vivid dreams. I'm 35.

#44 Pablo M

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 08:45 PM

With all the light pollution these days, it certainly seems like we could be destined for some problems-- or perhaps we are already seeing them. My room is almost completely dark at night, but I remember reading a reference in The Melatonin Miracle to a study which found that a dim light on the back of a person's knee is enough to impair melatonin synthesis. I'm thinking about trying 300mcg of melatonin per night.

#45 curious_sle

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:42 PM

whoa. me i have problems falling asleep big time. I now use 3mg and it usually helps a lot and i sleep much better then ever as far as i can recall. it's a simple one whop thing though and when i am through with it i'll do the 2mg sources naturals thing 1mg immediate and 1mg timerelease (had some issues with sleep through, got up to erm leak especially summer due to lot's of watter drinking). Thing is, i still sometimes have trouble falling asleep. I do not use it always though. I cycle off of it and have not more or less trouble falling asleep.

#46 Mind

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:47 PM

I just started taking 1mg last week...right before bedtime. Seems to work nicely for the first 4 hours of sleep, then I toss and turn for the next 2 to 4 hours. Still this is better than tossing and turning all night. Most of my life I have been a very light sleeper. With melatonin use over the last few days, I fall asleep pretty quick and get a good 4 hours of sleep. I am pretty happy with it so far.

#47 Athanasios

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:49 PM

I just started taking 1mg last week...right before bedtime. Seems to work nicely for the first 4 hours of sleep, then I toss and turn for the next 2 to 4 hours. Still this is better than tossing and turning all night. Most of my life I have been a very light sleeper. With melatonin use over the last few days, I fall asleep pretty quick and get a good 4 hours of sleep. I am pretty happy with it so far.


Is this with an immediate release? I had similar issues, until I switched to LEF's time released ones.

#48 Mind

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:54 PM

Right...immediate release. I fall alseep right away. I suppose I could get the time released pills eventually, but I am pretty happy with the 1mg for now.

#49 maestro949

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 10:38 PM

Mind, consider taking a small dose sublingually when you wake. It goes right to the bloodstream and help you get a couple more. I've done this a few times and it works most times. When it doesn't I read about complexity. That has yet to fail. ;)

#50 boily

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 11:50 AM

There are a lot of different idea's amongst members on melatonin. Not sure what to make of it all...... I'm using NOW brand 3mg chewable, disolving them as sublingual's. I'll try one cut in half tonight.... A full 3mg is really working well, no groggy feeling in the mornings.....

#51 DukeNukem

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 04:40 PM

I've been a pusher of melatonin for years as one of the most important longevity supplements one can take. I take the 6 (or maybe 7.5, can't remember) mg LEF time release formula. I sleep like a log all night. Deep rest is a crucial time for the body to rejuvenate itself, so good sleep cannot be underestimated.

Additionally, it's worth reading the writing's of Dr. Walter Pierpaoli. In the current copy of International Antiaging Magazine (http://www.antiaging-magazine.com/ ) Dr. P, who apparently has been researching Melatonin for years, states: "Already after six months the evidence emerges that younger women are more susceptible than older women to the anti-aging properties of melatonin. This fact strongly supports the view that the beneficial and pineal-protecting effects of melatonin are more pronounced at a time when the pineal is still relatively young. This unexpected finding indicates that melatonin can exert a more pronounced anti-aging effect if the administrations start rather early in life, in so far it protects the pineal from aging." (This text can be found in the section sub-titled, "The anti-aging molecule melatonin.")

(Emphasis mine.)

#52 ageless

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 06:54 PM

I've read before that supplementation in the range of 300-500mcg of melatonin closely approximates our natural physiological production.  Is there evidence that consuming 3mg or more (pharmacological doses) long-term is optimal or safe in comparison?


Yes indeed. I have read or heard of a study that demonstrated of all the doses tested, 300mcg, which simulates the normal amount produced at night, gave the best sleep in the subjects. Just sounds reasonable to me. I wouldn't go over 1mg regularly and find that these higher amounts only causes me to wake earlier and harder to get back to sleep. More grogginess sometimes also.

#53 shifter

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 04:52 AM

LEF sells one that is 10mg insize and the instructions for it are to take 1-5 capsules immediatly before sleep. If 300mcg works wonders, who would need 50,000mcg!!? And how could that be good for somebody every night

I think I will give 1mg a try. I have no problems sleeping anyway but would like its life extending potenial.

#54 zoolander

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 05:25 AM

I'm with you Duke. I also use the time release melatonin by LEF called Natural sleep. I use 5 mg and on occasions 10mg. Melatonin is in my top 3.

#55 hallucinogen

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:12 PM

Melatonin makes me see h0t Sexy Dreams, I'm down like a clown!

#56 FunkOdyssey

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 09:49 PM

I read an article today that discussed findings that melatonin levels are suppressed by performing exciting tasks at night or viewing a brightly lit display:

http://www.scienceag...trunc_sys.shtml

Playing video/computer games at night combines both factors and would be expected to delay sleep and reduce its quantity and quality through its action on melatonin levels -- an idea that I would agree with based on personal experience. I could see melatonin being put to good use as a supplement by the health-conscious gamer to help offset the detrimental effects of that lifestyle on sleep habits.

#57 health_nutty

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 10:41 PM

I've started taking 1mg of melatonin (will probably add 1mg sustained release as well) based on these discussions. You guys are great!

#58 Athanasios

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 12:09 AM

I've started taking 1mg of melatonin (will probably add 1mg sustained release as well) based on these discussions.  You guys are great!


Funny thing, the other day when you wanted critiques for your regimen, I was going to rec melatonin. Then I thought, nah, this thread is here...

#59 health_nutty

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 02:05 AM

I've started taking 1mg of melatonin (will probably add 1mg sustained release as well) based on these discussions.  You guys are great!


Funny thing, the other day when you wanted critiques for your regimen, I was going to rec melatonin. Then I thought, nah, this thread is here...


Anything else you are holding back on me? I recently updated my regimine (I'm still planning on buying extra vitamin D thanks to you!)

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#60 shifter

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 06:22 AM

same, I just bought vitamin D, melatonic and benfotiamine from iherb based on what i've been reading on these forums ;)




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