What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone often referred to as the body's natural time clock. This master hormone is produced in the pineal gland and is responsible for regulating sleep and wake cycle. The melatonin hormone is also known to serve a variety of other functions. After all, nearly all the body functions can be improvised by a good night's sleep. The multiple effects of this molecule are known to produce anti-inflammatory, oncostatin agents, anti-coagulopathy and antioxidant properties. This hormone also produces endothelial protective effects. The role of Melatonin has been fascinated by various researchers over the world, which led them to promote the use of melatonin supplements in people suffering from sleep-related disorders and jet-lag.1. 

Circadian rhythms, the biological oscillations based around our 24-hour clock, have a profound effect on human physiology and healthy cellular function. New circadian medicine research has found strong links between melatonin and the health of the microbiome, mood, sleep, heart, immunity, bone,  joint, prostate, breast,  and blood sugar health. Some scientists even refer to melatonin as a molecule rather than a hormone, as the body’s natural production is not impacted with supplementation. Modern science is viewing melatonin as the link that gets the body’s biological clocks to sync with light and dark cycles. These biological clocks exist in every cell of the body and are found in every living cell on the planet.

See: Ashwagandha for sleep before bed

Benefits of taking Melatonin supplement

Benefits of taking Melatonin supplement:

1. Promotes healthy sleep- Melatonin levels generally decrease with age causing disturbed or fragmented sleep cycle. Melatonin supplement helps treat insomnia in older adults. The supplement, unlike other hypnotic medication, is known to produce minimal side effects on the psychomotor function of an individual. 1.

2. Enhance immune function - Melatonin hormone is responsible for regulating immune function in elderly people or people whose immune system is compromised. Melatonin supplements in elderly individuals can help boost the immune function by stimulating the network of immune-opioid and by regulating the glutathione levels in the body.2. 

3. Anti-aging property- Melatonin is considered to be a natural antioxidant that promotes significant anti-aging properties by reducing oxidative stress. Elderly people who tend to take melatonin supplement finds to have an improved quality of life by its antioxidant and immune-enhancing qualities.3.

4. Anti-diabetic- Melatonin release also influences the release of insulin, and they both work in synchronization. Melatonin, with its antioxidant properties, may help regulate insulin secretion by protecting the β-cells of the pancreas against reactive oxygen species, as these cells possess the low-antioxidative capacity.5.

5. Improves Bone density - Melatonin regulates the homeostasis of bone metabolism. Numerous research studies have suggested age‐related reductions in melatonin levels, which is responsible for causing bone loss and osteoporosis with aging. Melatonin levels may serve as a biomarker for the early detection of osteoporosis and its prevention. Melatonin supplementation promotes osteogenesis and improves bone density in aged individuals. Melatonin is known to suppress age-related bone loss by enhancing the gene expression of various osteo-proteins and by inhibiting osteolysis and bone degeneration.8.

Melatonin supplement is used to provide various health benefits. It boosts the immune system, help treat headaches like migraine, diabetes, and overweight fights aging, and help ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia

See: The potential therapeutic effect of melatonin in Gastro-Esophageal Reflux .

What is time-release Melatonin?

Melatonin-time-release is usually used as a supplement for treating sleep disorders. It is a synthetically produced that mimics the effect of the naturally-occurring hormone, called Melatonin. Melatonin-time-release is a marketed product that can be easily found over the counter, pharmacies, and nutrition stores. The time-release melatonin supplement is used for improving sleep duration and help people who tend to awaken early. It can also be used to treat jet lag, shift-work sleep disorders, and blind people suffering from sleep disorders can use it.

See: Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality.

What is Immediate release melatonin?

Immediate-release Melatonin taken as a supplement can help individuals get faster sleep. People who experience insufficient melatonin release throughout the night can be benefitted from Immediate release melatonin as they help them experience more restful and regenerative sleep. Immediate release melatonin supplement is a combination of immediate burst plus an extended-release dose of Melatonin. This combination helps to initiate immediate sleep while also helping keep a sufficient amount of melatonin levels in the body from falling and promote good sleep throughout the night. Thus, it helps a person have a good night's sleep. The combination of this product comprises of 0.75 mg of immediate-release Melatonin and 0.75 mg of extended-release Melatonin.

Insufficient melatonin release during the night time may cause sleep disorders like difficulty staying asleep or difficulty getting back to sleep once you are awake. In such individuals, the liquid form of Melatonin achieves adequate results. For these individuals, extended-release melatonin supplements support a full night of uninterrupted sleep. 

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Extended-release Melatonin

Extended-release melatonin supplements are known to produce its effects for a longer duration of time. Once taken, this medication dissolves slowly into the body and gradually releases Melatonin over time. The melatonin extended-release form is also used as an alternative medicine for treating high blood pressure, jet lag, tumors, and low platelets of blood. It is also found to be beneficial in treating insomnia caused due to the immediate withdrawal from drug addiction, anxiety, or surgery.

See: How To Manage Fibro Fog Or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Summary

Melatonin supplement is available as an oral formulation. People take melatonin supplements as a sleeping aid to treat problems related to insomnia and jet lag. People commonly use Melatonin for sleep disorders, such as insomnia and jet lag. But one should consider taking these medications on need basis as long term use of these supplements may develop a dependency, promoting withdrawal effect and a diminished response after repeated use.

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References

1. Gooneratne NS, Edwards AY, Zhou C, Cuellar N, Grandner MA, Barrett JS. Melatonin pharmacokinetics following two different oral surge-sustained release doses in older adults. J Pineal Res. 2012;52(4):437–445. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-079X.2011.00958.x

2. Caspi, Opher. (2004). Melatonin for the prevention & treatment of jet lag. Alternative therapies in health and medicine. 10. 74-8. 

3. Srinivasan V, Maestroni GJ, Cardinali DP, Esquifino AI, Perumal SR, Miller SC. Melatonin, immune function, and aging. Immun Ageing. 2005;2:17. Published 2005 Nov 29. DOI:10.1186/1742-4933-2-17

4. Reiter, Russel & Tan, Du-Xian & Manchester, Lucien & Lopez-Burillo, Silvia & Sainz, Rosa & Mayo, Juan. (2003). Melatonin: Detoxification of Oxygen And Nitrogen-Based Toxic Reactants. Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 527. 539-48. 10.1007/978-1-4615-0135-0_62. 

5. Espino J, Pariente JA, Rodríguez AB. Role of melatonin on diabetes-related metabolic disorders. World J Diabetes. 2011;2(6):82–91. DOI:10.4239/wjd.v2.i6.82

6. Bubenik, G.A. & Konturek, S.J.. (2011). Melatonin and aging: Prospects for human treatment. Journal of physiology & pharmacology: an official journal of the Polish Physiological Society. 62. 13-9. 

7. Masters-Israilov, Alina & Pandi-Perumal, Sr & Seixas, Azizi & Jean-Louis, Girardin & Mcfarlane, Samy. (2014). Melatonin, the Hormone of Darkness: From Sleep Promotion to Ebola Treatment. Brain Disorders & Therapy. 4. 1-4. 10.4172/2168-975X.1000151. 

8. Li, Tian & Jiang, Shuai & Lu, Chenxi & Yang, Wenwen & Yang, Zhi & Hu, Wei & Xin, Zhenlong. (2018). Melatonin: Another avenue for treating osteoporosis?. Journal of Pineal Research. 66. 10.1111/jpi.12548. 

9. https://www.drugs.com/tips/melatonin-time-release-patient-tips

10. https://health.usnews.com/health-care/for-better/articles/2018-07-23/continuous-release-melatonin-a-better-option-for-quality-sleep

See: Yoga for sleep disorders

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