Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain whose benefits are fundamental in our biological rhythm. So its consumption has increased in recent years.
The melatonin is a hormone produced and synthesized in a part of the brain, specifically the pineal gland, which besides being naturally produced by the body tends to be habitual consumption even without medical prescription, which can be a risk.
Not surprisingly, the consumption of melatonin should always have been previously prescribed by a doctor, since excessive consumption could cause seizures and alterations in blood glucose levels and blood pressure.
Among the main functions of melatonin, we must highlight that it is a hormone that regulates the biological clock of our body, hence in recent years it has become as fashionable as a treatment against sleep disorders.
There is no doubt that one of the main benefits of melatonin, at least one of the most studied, is related to the influence it exerts on the sleep-wake rhythm (that is, with our own biological rhythm).
Hence, in recent years it has become a suitable substance in the treatment of sleep disturbances, for example by people who suffer from insomnia, in disorders such as Jet-lag, or workers who suffer from sleep disturbances. Sleep due to your job (for example, shift workers).
In this sense, it seems that melatonin is indicated in the treatment of sleep disorders, especially to alleviate the typical symptoms of jet-lag.
It is also advised in people who tend to suffer from sleep disturbances by continuously interrupting their daily rhythm, as is the case of shift workers, who may have work at night one week and the following week throughout the day.
Although its properties for aging have not yet been medically proven, the truth is that it has been found that melatonin positively influences the quality of life of older people. This is because a healthy diet, together with high concentrations of melatonin, tend to positively influence the health of the person.
In addition, melatonin has antioxidant effects, which in turn has been shown to be more effective in eliminating free radicals.
Beware of its excessive consumption and without a medical prescription
Taking into account that consumed without a prescription it tends to be extremely common for us to commit the risk of exceeding its consumption and in the recommended amount (from 3 to 5 mg), there is no doubt that a melatonin-based treatment should be prescribed and controlled by a doctor.
Why? Mainly because, as we indicated at the beginning, there is a risk that excess melatonin can cause certain health disorders.
Side effects of consuming melatonin
- Alteration of glucose levels in the blood.
- Alteration of blood pressure.
- For a short time it can cause depression.
- It can cause a headache.
- Some people may be drowsy.
- Irritability may appear.
Therefore, its consumption must always have been previously prescribed and recommended by a doctor. And it is advisable to take it at least an hour before sleeping, since during the day it tends to cause drowsiness.
Contraindications of melatonin
Given the controversy created in recent years by the increase in the number of people who consume melatonin supplements, we must bear in mind that in the short term and without excessive consumption it is a safe supplement for most people. Not surprisingly, neuroendocrinology’s and the world’s leading expert on the sleep hormone, should probably be heeded when he stated that “melatonin is a very safe molecule, more so than aspirin.”
However, certain people or population groups must take into account which are the main contraindications of melatonin, and its consumption is not recommended:
- Pregnant and lactating women.
- Children and adolescents: especially due to the fact that it has effects on other hormones, and may interfere with development.
- People with high blood pressure: can increase blood pressure in people who are under medical treatment to control blood pressure.
- Diabetics: May increase blood sugar in those with diabetes.
- Depressed people: mainly because it can make your symptoms worse.