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Is Melatonin safe for long term use?

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pak
 Posted 11/2/2013 3:18:23 PM
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I've heard you should only take melatonin "occasionally" -- whatever that means -- because it can reduce the body's production of it.  But I've also read it may prevent cancer if taken "regularly."  So which is it?  (Only form that helped me a bit is the sublingual one.  But I only averaged 8 minutes more sleep per night -- but I seemed to dream a lot more -- so I don't know if its really worth it for me.)
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 Posted 11/3/2013 6:18:35 AM
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If you would please point me to where you read that melatonin supplementation lowers the body's production of the hormone, i will take a look at the study or studies referenced.  A brief search of abstracts available in PubMed failed to retrieve any that documented a feedback mechanism.  Additionally, i did not see any human studies concerning a lower risk of cancer among subjects who supplemented with melatonin but there are animal studies that indicate a protective effect.

There was also a human study that indicated a lower risk of breast cancer in women who had higher urinary melatonin levels: http://www.lef.org/newsletter/2005/2005_07_20.htm  And a meta-analysis reported in 2005 concluded that melatonin benefits those who already have cancerhttp://www.lef.org/newsletter/2005/2005_09_10.htm


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 Posted 11/3/2013 4:11:57 PM
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I would strongly suggest starting-out with the lowest available dose of melatonin you can take.
The average healthy person's pineal gland produces less than 60 MICRO-grams of melatonin per day (so I've read), and so any supplement out there is far surpassing normal levels. 
I currently take 300 mcg. per night with no apparent side effect one way or the other,  but back when I was taking 20 mg./ night it was causing me to awake way too early, feel groggy all morning, and seemingly caused some weight gain.



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 Posted 7/16/2015 11:27:42 PM
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Seniors tend to sleep shorter hours. My wife and I tended to sleep 5 hours or so. I began taking 1mg Melatonin. Noticed little change. Went to 3mg. Felt like sleeping longer and felt the sleep cycle was deeper. Often remembered dreams with greater clarity, indicating to me that I was awakening more frequently within minutes of the end of the REM cycle. It has been a long time now, perhaps a couple of years. My dose has adjusted to 9mg. My wife 3 to 6mg. We skip dosing once or twice a week. In general we get perhaps two hours more sleep, but this is difficult to measure meaningfully. We do not experience dullness or become logy at these levels. In general, I only count sleep periods of two hours minimum as a part of the total, shorter naps are not included on the theory that they do not contain the entire compliment of sleep stages. But these shorter sleeps, and semi-conscious reveries are certainly not valueless. Conclusion: Melatonin seems safe for long-term use. But be sure, of course to get your esteemed physician to sign off on it. My overall working conclusion is that we are better off in general since beginning the Melatonin. This is an entirely subjective assessment. I change brands when I run out on the theory that the accuracy of the labeled dosage may be faulty with a given product. When I make these changes in Brand, I have not experienced detectable changes in response. Interestingly, a few weeks ago, I decided to space out my dosage 3mg, 3mg, and 3mg over several hours. I took the first tablet. I left the other two on a table on my porch and forgot about them. The next day I saw them and they had been eroded peculiarly. It had been a bone dry night, and had there been any dew effect, the tablet would have puffed relatively uniformly. This is not what I observed. These tablets had small dished out discrete areas. Irregular crater-like depressions in various areas. I kept an informal eye on them. It wasn't ants. Not flies. I'm no entomologist but the bugs doing the chomping were about 1/2" long. They seemed to feed for a few minutes, more or less. Then they left, without any apparent staggering or other visible impairment. I searched my porous memory for data of similar kinds of things. I have been known to take various capsules of nutriceuticals, open them, dump their powdered contents in my mouth, close the capsule, leaving it empty. Perhaps doing this with several different kinds. Later, I would find some of the capsules had little holes in them and the inner surface seemed clearer than the capsules which had not been breached. No Eureka moments, but interesting on several different levels. Since they were all clear capsules of about the same size I did not know what substance from within was so attractive to the bugs. And at the time I was thinking about Higgs Bosuns and PentaQuarks. So I pushed what the bugs were up to into the deep, dark, unexplored convolutions of my mind. But this time I knew they were eating Melatonin for sure. The notion that these bugs were eating the Melatonin to alter their mental state was indeed intriguing. I decided to sleep on it. When I woke up, I ran for the Melatonin bottle, dissolving a tablet in my mouth. Four tenths of a teensy sweet, no sour, no detectable salt, no bitter. Then I read the labeled inactive ingredients for the binders and so on: Dextrose, Stearic Acid, Silicon Dioxide, Magnesium Stearate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Croscarmellose Sodium. Curses! Foiled again!

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 Posted 7/17/2015 4:20:50 AM
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While there are no long term studies involving melatonin (or most other things), it appears to be safe for those without autoimmune disease or immune system cancer. The reason for this caveat is that melatonin, being supportive to the immune system, might worsen an already overactive immune system. As you know, our bodies make melatonin, so it is safer than drugs. The dose you are using is higher than most people need. Richard Wurtman, who conducted a lot of research in this area, has recommended low doses of less than half a milligram. With melatonin, lower doses often work better than higher ones. One drop of Life Extension's Fast-Acting Liquid Melatonin http://www.lifeextension.com/Vitamins-Supplements/item01734/Fast-Acting-Liquid-Melatonin is all that's needed by some.

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