Melatonin Supplements Are Hormone Therapy
Are you taking melatonin? Then you are using hormone therapy. Hormone therapy is a very complicated topic rife with detrimental health consequences when used carelessly. Often, hormone therapy is the easy answer to hormone imbalance and so the layperson, under the guidance of a practitioner or not, will reach for this answer. One common example of hormone therapy is progesterone cream. Melatonin is another.
The popularity of melatonin greatly worries me because hormone therapy should be approached with due caution, wisdom and knowledge. The practitioners whom I most respect use hormone therapy with the most extreme reservation, always preferring to use diet/lifestyle/supplement changes before using hormone therapy only when necessary as a last resort. Why? More often than not, including the case of melatonin, hormone therapy can do more harm than good.
This is the analogy I use when explaining the potential consequences of hormone therapy:
Most of the hormones in the body are governed by negative feedback, which works like your household thermostat. Say you set your thermostat to 72 degrees and the room temperature is 69 degrees. The heater kicks in to warm the room up. When the temperature reaches 72 degrees, the heat shuts off until the temperature drops again.
Administering hormones can actually shut off our bodys hormonal negative feedback loop. Its like heating a room by a space heater and the furnace shuts off because it isnt needed.
A Connection Between Sleep And Hunger
LÉO RAMOSIt has been known for some time that melatonin plays a role in regulating sleep. The hormone is produced by the pineal gland, situated in the center of the brain. Now there is evidence that it also plays a key role in hunger control, in the accumulation of fats and in energy consumption. In the absence of melatonin, mice developed metabolic diseases and became obese. Yet its replacement led to weight loss, says José Cipolla Neto, a physiologist at the University of São Paulo . He coordinated a series of animal experiments, conducted in partnership with other researchers from São Paulo, France and the United States, demonstrating that melatonin levels, which fluctuate throughout the day, affect food intake and energy expenditure, the so-called energy balance of the body.
As it gets dark, the pineal gland begins to release melatonin until it reaches a maximum concentration, flooding the body with the hormone. From this peak, which occurs around the middle of the night, its concentration decreases and remains low during the morning and the afternoon these levels are 10 times lower than at night. In the case of humans and other mammals active during the day, the lower concentrations coincide with the period of greatest activity. Humans and other mammals eat during the dayor at least eat more than at nightand store more energy than they expend.
What Are The Side Effects Of Melatonin
Generally, side effects of Melatonin are uncommon but may include:
- Worsen manic symptoms in patients with bipolar.
In children, possible side effects include:
- Increased irritability.
- Persistent urination before bed.
Melatonin may also react with various medications like blood thinners, blood pressure medication, or antidepressants. It is best to check with your doctor before taking a Melatonin supplement.
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Melatonins Impact On Weight Loss
Various studies have demonstrated that melatonin may be used for obesity control.
One recent study, conducted on diabetic rats, for example, found that melatonin increased the amount of brown adipose tissue mass, which is the good fat that your body uses, rather than stores.
The impact of that was a reduction of white visceral fat in the abdominal region that is the fat that can cause the most negative impact on your health, since most of your organs are in that region.2
The same study found that melatonin can positively impact thermogenic activity and mitochondrial mass and function.
Thermogenesis is when your body burns calories in order to produce heat, and mitochondria are cell structures which are involved in thermogenisis.3
The rats that were studied experienced these changes regardless of their levels of activity or their diets.
However, for humans, doctors do recommend that any melatonin treatment should be complementary to a healthy and well-balanced diet and a good amount of exercise.4
Other studies have demonstrated that melatonin tablets can have an impact on metabolism.
One study looked at menopausal women. Menopause is a time when people find it even harder to lose body fat and gain muscle. The study found that melatonin can impact hormones like leptin, adiponectin, and insulin levels. Together, these hormones are involved in regulating your bodys metabolic processes, including fat burning and glucose use.5
Is It A Hormone
Melatonin is a hormone. The pineal gland in the brain releases it in cycles. Production increases at night when the light outside starts to fade.
Melatonin acts as a chemical messenger. It tells other organs and tissues how to function. Melatonin signals to the body that it is time to go to sleep.
Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone. People with low melatonin levels may not sleep as well as those who have higher levels.
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Best Natural Sleep Aids
As with melatonin, the FDA doesn’t regulate other natural sleep aids, warns the National Sleep Foundation. While people often assume that products labeled “natural” are safe, this doesn’t always hold true. Aside from the possibility of side effects and drug interactions, the long-term effects are often unknown.
Perhaps the best sleep aid option is exercise because it has side benefits rather than side effects. A few studies indicate exercise significantly improves sleep in people with chronic insomnia.
Research examining the effects of long-term exercise on sleep found the practice enhanced sleep quality and slightly lengthened sleep duration, reports the foundation. The thing to remember is not to work out within two hours of your bedtime.
A study published in the March/April 2018 American Journal of Therapeutics explored the benefit of Montmorency tart cherry juice for insomnia. It included only 11 participants, but because it’s a placebo-controlled crossover clinical trial, the findings bear consideration.
Results of the study showed the juice increased sleep duration and quality. No adverse effects were observed, so the authors concluded that tart cherry juice offers a safe, effective way to alleviate insomnia.
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Your sleeping environment can affect the quality of your rest, too, says Johns Hopkins Medicine. Keep your bedroom cool: The ideal temperature is between 65 and 72 degrees.
Melatonin And Lean Body Mass
Melatonin has been shown to increase the lean mass of postmenopausal women. Other research has indicated that the hormone also protects athletes from muscle damage.
A balanced and protective internal environment is essential to building muscle. Oxidative stress occurs because there is an imbalance or compromise of normal body function in response to intense exercise. This state can lead to muscle fatigue and damage along with decreased energy.
Melatonin might reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress and provide a better environment for muscle protection and growth. It might be because melatonin contains antioxidant properties that could potentially reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress.
In 2017, researchers conducted a study to examine the effect of melatonin on chemical reactions and muscle damage in resistance-trained athletes. During the short randomized study, 24 athletes were supplemented with either melatonin or a placebo.
During the trial period, participants were required to increase their exercise intensity. High-intensity exercise can cause the body to release chemicals that are potentially harmful to our muscles and cells. The researchers performed blood tests to check participants’ levels of these chemicals as well as enzymes and antioxidants that are beneficial to muscle growth.
The results of the study suggested that:
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Side Effects Of Melatonin Interactions
- Sleepiness and drowsiness with sedative medication the interaction between sedative medications or depressants and melatonin can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and drowsiness. It is essential you avoid taking melatonin with medications like lorazepam, clonazepam, zolpidem, etc.
- Wakefulness with caffeine combining melatonin with caffeine may result in decreased melatonin effects. Caffeine will overpower melatonin, so instead of sleepy, one might feel more wakeful and alert.
- Increased blood sugar with diabetes medication because melatonin increases blood sugar levels, and the diabetic medication lowers it, it can completely overpower the effectiveness of diabetes medication. This can lead to some serious issues in diabetic patients, who should avoid taking melatonin with insulin, glimepiride, glipizide, rosiglitazone, etc.
- Bleeding risk with anticoagulants because melatonin slows down blood coagulation, it should be smart to avoid taking it together with medication that has the same effects. The combination of anticoagulants with melatonin may cause bleeding and bruising. Such medications include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, enoxaparin, heparin, diclofenac, etc.
Melatonin May Support Weight Loss
In a small study7 of postmenopausal women, researchers found that subjects who took a daily melatonin supplement experienced weight loss, along with an improvement in sleep quality, after 24 weeks. The researchers state that melatonin secretion begins to decline with age, primarily affecting postmenopausal women which may help explain the tendency to gain weight after menopause.
Research8 shows that suppression of melatonin often brought on by night-time light can cause significant shifts in the circadian rhythm. Irregular circadian rhythms are linked to a range of health problems, including depression, diabetes, obesity and sleep disorders.9
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Will 5mg Of Melatonin Put Me To Sleep
Recommended doses of melatonin are from 0.5 mg up to 3 mg, which are adequate to promote sleep or treat jet lag. Research indicates there are no side effects if you reduce the dose of melatonin you are taking. Take it an hour to an hour and a half before bedtime for a restful sleep when you need it.
Take Supplements To Help You Relax
Avena says there are plenty of supplements, such as melatonin, that can help your body relax before your head hits the pillow.
“For example, Nature Made Sleep Longer combines melatonin with amino acids to help calm your mind for better sleep,” she says.
For more sleep tips, be sure to read The One Diet Change You’ll Make After Better Sleep, New Study Suggests. Then, don’t forget to .
How Much Melatonin Should I Take And Can I Take It Every Night
Effective doses of melatonin for sleep are generally low, says Dr. Grandner. The literature suggests that between 0.5 mg and 3 mg is all it takes to have a significant biological effect, especially if taken in the early evening. The effects are essentially the same, no matter the dose, especially in this range. Taking a slightly higher dose closer to bedtime may also help, though there is less data on this. Higher doses are generally not recommended unless in special situations. If you take too much, you may find that it does not work, or at least it does not work any better than a low dose. You will often have more side effects, though, from headaches and nausea to dizziness and grogginess.
What Are The Negative Effects Of Melatonin
Melatonin has been used safely for up to 2 years in some people. However, it can cause some side effects including headache, short-term feelings of depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, stomach cramps, and irritability. Do not drive or use machinery for four to five hours after taking melatonin.
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Melatonin Increases Beige Fat
A team of researchers from Spain and Texas has found that melatonin increases the presence of beige fat in rats given a 6-week regimen of orally delivered melatonin. Their experiment included both obese rats with type 2 diabetes and healthy-weight rats that were diabetes-free. Half of the rats were given melatonin in their drinking water every day for 6 weeks, while the remaining rats were given no supplemental melatonin. At the end of the 6-week period, rats that received the oral melatonin displayed the increased presence of beige fatthis included both obese and lean rats. Researchers found that the rats who received melatonin had increased their sensitivity to the thermogenic effects of both cold and exercise. Thermogenic processes in the bodyincluding exertion through exercise and activity, generating heat in reaction to cold temperatures, digestion of food, and sleeping raise metabolic rate and cause the body to burn additional energy. According to these study results, melatonin may boost beige fat stores and trigger an increase in energy burn.
How Long Does Melatonin Last And Take To Kick In
It depends on what its being used for, says Dr. Kolla. If used as a light sleeping pill, you can see a difference in one to two days. If being used as a hypnotic , the dose is 3 to 10 mg. and you can expect to feel it within 30 minutes. For circadian rhythm disorders, like when teenagers regularly going to bed at 3 AM and wake up at noon, the dose is .5 mg., and it can take weeks to feel the effects.
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Does Melatonin Make You Tired The Next Day
No, Melatonin does not make you feel tired the next day. Upon waking, you may feel a little groggy, but this will generally disappear after getting ready for the morning. If it exceeds the optimal dose, it may cause morning hangover and daytime drowsiness. It is advised to take Melatonin late evening around 7 pm and choose the correct amount, so you wake up feeling fresh.
Taking Melatonin When Pregnant
Taking melatonin during pregnancy might help protect the babys brain against damage. However, there is not enough available evidence to confirm this benefit.
A 2016 review of studies did not find any evidence that taking melatonin during pregnancy has protective effects on a fetus.
When it comes to promoting sleep, melatonin may not be the best choice during pregnancy. It might interfere with the sleep cycles of the woman and the baby.
Although melatonin is safe overall, there is not enough research on its effects during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant should talk to their doctor before taking this supplement.
What Is The Melatonin Dosage For Weight Loss
Doctors are still unsure how much melatonin you should take for weight loss. Its probably better to try and boost your bodys natural production of melatonin through regular exercise, using a blue light filter at night when surfing the internet and trying to time exposure to sunlight earlier in the day. You should also add melatonin-rich foods like walnuts, tomatoes and cherries to your diet.
Remember, getting a good nights sleep is vital to maintaining a healthy body weight. Melatonin and weight loss are connected because when you sleep better, it is easier to lose weight due to the body being in a healthier and more balanced state.
When we dont sleep well, food cravings and other unhealthy eating habits tend to emerge. When we feel tired or lacking energy during the day, we are tempted to reach for a candy bar or some other sugary pick me up. This leads directly to overeating and weight gain.
Thats why taking melatonin to help you sleep better is actually an effective and natural weight loss supplement. When you are well-rested and feeling fresh, you wont binge on comfort foods or sugar-filled snacks.
Foods Rich In Melatonin
Besides night sleep, we can take melatonin from food. Actually, there are many foods containing melatonin. For instance, pistachios, almonds, cherries, strawberries, and even bananas contain melatonin. Eat them at dinner, in order, to sleep better.
Also, red wine is an excellent source of melatonin. In fact, a glass of red wine a day is good for losing weight.
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What Is The Connection Between Melatonin And Weight Gain
The primary connection between melatonin and weight gain is that some studies have shown that melatonin may help to prevent weight gain. How this works isnt entirely understood, but it has been shown that melatonin may help lower risk factors for obesity and may also help prevent certain health conditions related to being overweight. Even with this evidence, melatonin is not commonly prescribed for weight gain.
Melatonin is naturally manufactured by the pineal gland in the brand. It is the hormone responsible for inducing sleep, and it is made in greater quantities in response to darkness. Supplement versions are sold and they are often taken in order to treat insomnia. Although melatonin is generally considered safe for most people, it is not recommended that consumers start taking it without consulting with a doctor.
Many of the studies performed linking melatonin and weight gain were originally done with rats. In these studies, it was noticed that melatonin helped to remove body fat. Later studies were done with human volunteers, and these results were still seen. Other health-boosting effects have also been linked with melatonin consumption. Participants taking this supplement noted a decrease in triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood sugar.
Can Taking Melatonin Make Me Gain Weight
Melatonin is not associated with weight gain. However, poor sleep is linked with weight gain. According to a study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, not getting enough sleep or having inconsistent sleep patterns is associated with a higher body mass index .
According to a 2014 study, low levels of melatonin are associated with increased appetite and weight gain. The authors of the study found that taking a melatonin supplement helped the participants lose weight.
Another study found that melatonin supplements can help control weight gain, because it stimulates the production of a type of fat that burns calories instead of storing them . Scientists found that taking a melatonin supplement over time increases the calorie-burning effects of exercise and exposure to cold, which can help people lose weight. This is due in part to the fact that melatonin supplements trigger the production of good fat that burns calories.
The science is still emerging, but to date, the consensus is that melatonin might increase metabolism, boost weight loss efforts, and provide protection for muscle tissue. Taking melatonin supplements has also been found to reduce fat mass and increase lean muscle.
Bottom line: if you have difficulty falling asleep or getting good sleep, then a melatonin supplement may help you. It may also have the added benefit of increasing your ability to lose weight and reach your weight loss goals.
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