Any negative effects of long-term Melatonin use?
- 06-02-2006, 12:11 AM
Any negative effects of long-term Melatonin use?
My friend has been using Melatonin everyday for approximately two years. He takes between 3-6mg a night and has become dependent on it for sleep.
Is there any known negative effects of long-term melatonin use? Should I have him to switch over to REM for a while? I dont know much about melatonin, as I hardly ever use it. Please advise.
- 06-02-2006, 12:18 AM
hmm, very interesting topic. At first thought I remember hearing that supplementing too much much melatonin too often cause hault or slow down or disturbe the natural secretion of melatonin in the pituitary gland. From some quick research it seems the ill long term effects are much so unknown.
"Melatonin is a hormone secreted naturally by the pineal gland. Melatonin is the sleep hormone. It is said to induce sleep without any negative side effects. Melatonin is secreted mainly at night. Melatonin is found naturally in plants and in algae.
In several studies, supplementation with melatonin has been found helpful in inducing and maintaining sleep in both children and adults, for both people with normal sleep patterns and those suffering from insomnia. It is also useful in banishing jet lag.
However, it appears that the sleep- promoting effects of melatonin are most apparent only if a person's melatonin levels are low. In other words, taking melatonin is not like taking a sleeping pill or even 5-HTP. It will only produce a sedative effect when melatonin levels are low. Melatonin appears to be most effective in treating insomnia in the elderly, as low melatonin levels are common in this age group.
Safety: Studies of melatonin's safety are limited, with isolated reports of exacerbation of depression, fatigue and restriction of coronary arteries. "
06-02-2006, 02:09 AM
I didn't find any literature citing any ill-effects of long-term supplementation. Only good stuff, he shoudl be alright. As well, his immune system should be in amazing shape given Melatonins ability to improve immune cells
Melatonin as antioxidant, geroprotector and anticarcinogen.
Anisimov VN, Popovich IG, Zabezhinski MA, Anisimov SV, Vesnushkin GM, Vinogradova IA.
Department of Carcinogenesis and Oncogerontology, N.N. Petrov Research Institute of Oncology, Pesochny-2, St. Petersburg 197758, Russia.
The effect of the pineal indole hormone melatonin on the life span of mice, rats and fruit flies has been studied using various approaches. It has been observed that in female CBA, SHR, SAM and transgenic HER-2/neu mice long-term administration of melatonin was followed by an increase in the mean life span. In rats, melatonin treatment increased survival of male and female rats. In D. melanogaster, supplementation of melatonin to nutrient medium during developmental stages produced contradictory results, but and increase in the longevity of fruit flies has been observed when melatonin was added to food throughout the life span. In mice and rats, melatonin is a potent antioxidant both in vitro and in vivo. Melatonin alone turned out neither toxic nor mutagenic in the Ames test and revealed clastogenic activity at high concentration in the COMET assay. Melatonin has inhibited mutagenesis and clastogenic effect of a number of indirect chemical mutagens. Melatonin inhibits the development of spontaneous and 7-12-dimethlbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)- or N-nitrosomethylurea-induced mammary carcinogenesis in rodents; colon carcinogenesis induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine in rats, N-diethylnitrosamine-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in rats, DMBA-induced carcinogenesis of the uterine cervix and vagina in mice; benzo(a)pyrene-induced soft tissue carcinogenesis and lung carcinogenesis induced by urethan in mice. To identify molecular events regulated by melatonin, gene expression profiles were studied in the heart and brain of melatonin-treated CBA mice using cDNA gene expression arrays (15,247 and 16,897 cDNA clone sets, respectively). It was shown that genes controlling the cell cycle, cell/organism defense, protein expression and transport are the primary effectors for melatonin. Melatonin also increased the expression of some mitochondrial genes (16S, cytochrome c oxidases 1 and 3 (COX1 and COX3), and NADH dehydrogenases 1 and 4 (ND1 and ND4)), which agrees with its ability to inhibit free radical processes. Of great interest is the effect of melatonin upon the expression of a large number of genes related to calcium exchange, such as Cul5, Dcamkl1 and Kcnn4; a significant effect of melatonin on the expression of some oncogenesis-related genes was also detected. Thus, we believe that melatonin may be used for the prevention of premature aging and carcinogenesis.
PMID: 16678784 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Melatonin and its biological significance]
[Article in Polish]
Boguszewska A, Pasternak K.
Zaklad Chemii Ogolnej AM w Lublinie.
Melatonin is a hormone produced in human by the pineal body, the endocrine gland localized in the central part of cerebrum. It regulates many vital processes. Its main and best known effect is restoring the natural cycle of organism functions. It is safe and non-addictive sleep-inducing drug, which can eliminate disruptions in our circadian rhythm, in such situations as shift working, changing of time zones (during intercontinental air travelling) or insomnia. It improves mood and quality of sleep. Melatonin function consisting in stabilization of biological rhythms, free radical scavenging or immune system stimulating can delay aging processes. Its appropriate supplementation can prolong life even by decades, keeping our body in good both physical and psychological condition. Additionally, profitable for health properties of melatonin include ability to control some illnesses (prophylaxis of cardiovascular system diseases, neoplastic diseases and other functional disorders of organisms). It makes the immune system stronger, decreases susceptibility of the organism to stress, and improves mood and general feeling.
06-02-2006, 02:41 AM
While it doesn't seem like there are any real long-term negative effects, do you guys still think it would be beneficial for him to switch over to REM-R3G for a while?
06-02-2006, 02:45 AM
Yeah probably. Being dependent on any supp can be no good. Can he absolutely not sleep w/o Mela? Like he is really addicted to it?Originally Posted by JBlaze
06-02-2006, 02:55 AM
I honestly have no idea as I dont know him that well. He's just a gym buddy I see almost daily and talk to for a couple of minutes. Considering he said hes taken it every night for the past 2 years, I guess it's pretty safe to assume that he is addicted to it.Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier
06-04-2006, 06:07 PM
I use it for one month straight and than I take two to four weeks off. I get great results using it. The first week off of it I don't sleep as well. In fact, it takes 3-4 weeks for me to get a normal sleep pattern without it. Even with a decent sleep schedule, I go back on it because I get a better nights rest when I use it and I fall asleep alot faster with it. I cycle it because I couldn't find any long term studies on it. I figure its best not to use it all the time.
06-04-2006, 06:13 PM
Great thread, thanks guys!
Do those who are wiser than I think it is a good idea to taper off after using melatonin daily? I try not to use it daily, but sometimes I will for a week or so, never much more than that. And I am very, very sensitive to it, I only need 500mcg sublingually to knock me out like a light.
06-04-2006, 06:26 PM
06-04-2006, 06:28 PM
I think he plans only stopping in the near future. I'm puttin him on some REM for a while until school lets out. Then letting him just deal with the messed up sleep patterns for a while.Originally Posted by sock
06-04-2006, 07:01 PM
Ive been using melatonin now for a long time, around 2 years with no real adverse effects though.
However its done nothing for my immune system, its always been terrible and certainly hasent improved.
sleep like a baby though, i alternate doses with 2 weeks off every quarter year.
06-04-2006, 07:17 PM
That is something I considered, cycling it with some other sleep agent. That is something I will try in the future. I can't spend anymore money on supps right now. My stepdaughter wrecked my car the other night, and if its totaled, book value won't cover loan buyout.Originally Posted by JBlaze
06-04-2006, 07:23 PM
Well I started off with 1.5mg and eventually went to 6mg a day over a period of about 2.5 years, I did not take it every night but only when I felt I needed it. Now if I take any amount it keeps me up all night and makes me itch. So while it was great while it lasted, it's over now and it's useless to me.
06-04-2006, 07:55 PM
JBlaze and Basso thanks for your posts. I am coming up on a year of cycling melatonin and you posts further convince me of taking time off of it. I may even try to go longer than 4 wks without it. It is easy to just keep on taking it every night though.
06-04-2006, 08:03 PM
06-04-2006, 09:49 PM
I took 2 years off after it stopped working and have occassionally tried it and still have the same symptoms! So it appears once you have built up a tolerance it's stays with you for a long time. I think that cycling would be a good idea to lengthen the effectiveness.Originally Posted by sock
06-04-2006, 09:56 PM
Originally Posted by Basso
I concurr. I used it for a about 6 months... in my ignorance of any ideas on where it came from. I agree that cycling will allow you to have a better response....
03-05-2012, 03:47 AM
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