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The use of melatonin are on rise nowadays among the adults and teenagers in Malaysia. But, do we really know what melatonin actually is?
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally in the human body. Your brain produces the hormone melatonin in reaction to darkness. Even though it is produced by the pineal gland in the brain, it can also be found in the gut, eyes, and bone marrow. Light exposure at night can prevent the release of melatonin.
Nowadays, with the help of the advancement of technology, man - made melatonin is present. Although melatonin can be produced from microorganisms or animals, synthetic melatonin is the most common form.
Melatonin's main function is to regulate your circadian rhythms. The circadian rhythm can be thought of as your body’s 24 hour internal clock that controls many aspects of your daily lives.. It will notify you when it's time to sleep, wake up, or eat.
Most people who have trouble falling asleep at night use melatonin. Melatonin may be helpful for some conditions, including :
Insomnia, which is a sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. Melatonin use appears to speed up the time it takes to fall asleep, increase sleep duration, and improve the quality of sleep
Jet Lag, which is a new time zone throws off your body's internal clock. Melatonin can help you adjust your internal clock to the time change, which can reduce jet lag.
Shift Work Disorder. People who work nights as opposed to days are frequently impacted by this disease.
Delayed Sleep Wake Phase Disorder. This disorder makes it difficult for sufferers to fall asleep before 2 a.m. and difficult to wake up in the morning.
The seasonal affective disorder (SAD), often known as seasonal depression, is a. type of depression that happens annually at around the same time. According to some research, it might be connected to variations in your circadian rhythm brought on by seasonal light changes. Low doses of melatonin are frequently used to reduce the symptoms of seasonal depression because it regulates circadian rhythm.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that manifests as heartburn, nausea, and belching when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. It has been demonstrated that melatonin inhibits the release of stomach acids. Additionally, it lowers nitric oxide production, which loosens the lower esophageal sphincter and permits stomach acid to pass into the esophagus. Because of this, some studies indicate that melatonin may be used to treat GERD and heartburn.
Antioxidants found in abundance in melatonin can help stop cell deterioration and maintain the health of your eyes. Melatonin may even help treat diseases like glaucoma and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Human Growth Hormone
A type of hormone called human growth hormone (HGH) is essential for development and cellular regeneration. Increases in strength and muscle mass have both been associated with higher levels of this crucial hormone. Melatonin have been linked to higher levels of HGH.
Melatonin is widely regarded as safe by medical professionals, healthcare workers, and other experts. It might, however, carry some side effects.
The potential long-term side effects of melatonin consumption remain unknown. But, here is some common side effects of melatonin :
Melatonin is a prescription medication in Malaysia and only those with a prescription can use melatonin in Malaysia.
Since all health supplement items marketed in Malaysia must be registered with the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA), Ministry of Health Malaysia, the majority of pharmacies do not stock melatonin.
You can take 0.5 mg to 10 mg of melatonin per day for adults. To prevent negative side effects, it's advisable to adhere to the suggested dosage on the package and the prescription, as not all melatonin supplements are created equal.
For optimum effectiveness, try taking melatonin 30 minutes prior to bedtime if you're trying to increase the quality of your sleep. Take it about 2-3 hours prior to bedtime if you're taking it to adjust your circadian rhythm and create a more regular sleep routine.
Regular use of melatonin while attempting to conceive could be harmful. Melatonin might have contraceptive-like effects that make getting pregnant more challenging. Melatonin use during pregnancy isn't known to be safe due to a lack of sufficient, trustworthy information. It is advisable to avoid using melatonin when pregnant or trying to get pregnant until additional information is available.
Melatonin use during breastfeeding is not known to be safe due to a lack of sufficient, trustworthy information. Avoid use to be on the safe side.
When administered in levels up to 3 mg per day for children and 5 mg per day for teenagers, melatonin is typically well tolerated. Melatonin's potential to obstruct adolescent development has raised some questions. Only children with a medical need should take melatonin.
In patients with bleeding disorders, melatonin might exacerbate bleeding.
High blood pressure
Melatonin can cause blood pressure to rise in patients who are using specific blood pressure-lowering drugs. Avoid using it.
Melatonin consumption might cause seizures more likely to happen.
Researchers have found melatonin in a variety of foods. Different foods have different amounts of melatonin. Consuming foods high in this hormone may improve health by raising the blood level of melatonin. Some of the example are :
Nuts, especially pistachios.
Note From DOC2US:
If you currently maintain healthy sleep habits but feel that they're insufficient for you in order to achieve a good quality of sleep, melatonin is a relatively affordable, safe, and reliable choice to enhance restful sleep for most people.
BUT, bear in mind that it is crucial to consult your doctor first to get a prescription before using melatonin to determine whether it's good for you.
Written by Anas Fikri, MB BCh;
Medically reviewed by Nur Ariffin, MBBS UniSZA
Andersen LP, Gögenur I, Rosenberg J, et al. The safety of melatonin in humans. Clinical Drug Investigation. 2016;36(3):169-175.
Costello, R. B., et al. (2014). The effectiveness of melatonin for promoting healthy sleep: A rapid evidence assessment of the literature. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4273450/
Melatonin for sleep problems. (2019). https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/melatonin/
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