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{"id":555985240137,"title":"Is Melatonin Safe?","created_at":"2021-11-22T17:42:52-05:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Is Melatonin Safe?\",\n \"keywords\": \"melatonin, is melatonin safe, is melatonin safe for children, how much melatonin is safe, is melatonin safe during pregnancy, is it safe to take melatonin every night\",\n \"description\": \"Our MD analyzes whether melatonin is safe based on medical research. We look at melatonin's safety for adults, children, pregnant women, and assess its addiction potential.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-melatonin-safe\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber MD\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"contributor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_Melatonin_Safe_Thumbnail.jpg?v=1642355016\",\n\"width\": \"1889\",\n\"height\": \"1889\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/9062869\/\", \n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/books\/NBK534823\/#:~:text=The%20acute%20toxicity%20of%20melatonin,and%20nightmares%20at%20supraphysiological%20doses.\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/12065466\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/25197811\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC4830653\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/19486273\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3133850\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC1395802\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/26184078\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.poison.org\/articles\/melatonin\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6888176\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3656905\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"dosage\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"melatonin during pregnancy\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"melatonin brands\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2021-12-09\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ], \n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Logo.png?v=1641249064\", \n \"width\": 150,\n \"height\": 150\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"Address\": {\n \"@type\": \"PostalAddress\",\n \"streetAddress\": \"50 Union Street, Unit 9\",\n \"addressLocality\": \"Northampton\",\n \"addressRegion\": \"Massachusetts\",\n \"postalCode\": \"01060\",\n \"addressCountry\": \"US\"\n},\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_Melatonin_Safe_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1637621352\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eM\u003c\/span\u003eelatonin is one of the most popular supplements for sleep. It’s cheap and effective. But is it safe? That’s what we’ll investigate in this article based on medical research.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe will analyze whether melatonin is safe for adults, children, pregnant women and other groups in separate sections.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eDoes Melatonin Supplementation Impact Natural Production?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne of the most common questions patients ask is whether melatonin supplementation can affect their natural production of melatonin. Our bodies produce melatonin to regulate the sleep-wake cycle, so if natural production shuts down due to oral use that would be dangerous.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThankfully, medical research \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/9062869\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ehas proven\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e that taking melatonin supplements does not impact our body's production of the hormone. The above-linked medical study found that even doses as high as 50 milligrams (mg) daily, which is significantly higher than most over-the-counter (OTC) melatonin products, had no impact on the amount of melatonin secreted by the body.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIs Melatonin Safe for Adults?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMelatonin is one of the safest OTC supplements, and has no proven toxicity level. Researchers \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/books\/NBK534823\/#:~:text=The%20acute%20toxicity%20of%20melatonin,and%20nightmares%20at%20supraphysiological%20doses.\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ecouldn’t even find\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e an LD-50 dose (lethal dose for 50% of subjects) in animal studies which is uncommon, and shows how safe this compound is even at doses many factors higher than you’d get in a supplement.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe can conclude that melatonin is safe and non-toxic for adults, but there are two groups that may wish to avoid it: men seeking to have a child in the near future, and people with blood sugar issues.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/12065466\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that some men taking a 3 mg dose of melatonin had negative impacts on their semen quality. This study hasn’t been replicated and only had 8 participants, so we don’t think it’s conclusive.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThat being said, it may be worth speaking with your doctor before supplementing melatonin if you’re a man looking to have a child in the near future.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/25197811\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that melatonin supplementation negatively impacted glucose tolerance. Participants had increased blood sugar response to glucose after taking melatonin, so patients who are diabetic or pre-diabetic may want to speak with their doctor about monitoring their glucose in response to meals post-melatonin.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIs Melatonin Safe for Children?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBecause melatonin has such a safe biochemical profile, there is actually a significant amount of research on it with child participants.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC4830653\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of melatonin’s use for sleep disorders in children concluded that it was safe in otherwise healthy children, but should be avoided in children with immune disorders due to how melatonin interacts with the immune system.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/19486273\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003elong-term study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e on melatonin’s safety for children found that its use entailed “no safety concerns regarding serious adverse events” and the average time to follow up was 3.7 years, meaning the children had been taking the melatonin for a long time in most cases.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3133850\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ethird review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of melatonin as a sleep aid for children found “that significant side effects of melatonin in children have not been reported. This review analyzed over 100 individual studies on the topic.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOverall, we can conclude that melatonin seems safe for healthy children but may be risky for children with chronic conditions like immune disorders. We definitely recommend that parents speak with a pediatrician prior to use of OTC medications for their child, since the risk of any adverse reaction is higher to a developing body than to an adult.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eHow Much Melatonin is Safe?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWhile some melatonin products contain as low as 300 micrograms (mcg), there are plenty of OTC melatonin supplements that contain 20 mg or higher.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMany consumers are confused about how much melatonin they can safely take, especially if they have significant sleep issues that may be resolved with higher doses of melatonin than average.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWhile \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC1395802\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ethere exist\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e studies on melatonin for sleep with doses as high as 20 mg, we generally recommend a dose of 10 mg or below. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDoses as high as 100 mg \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/26184078\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ehave been used\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e on patients with no adverse effects, so even doses that high are likely safe, but we haven’t come across much data suggesting that higher doses are more effective beyond a 10 mg limit.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eInterestingly, a woman actually tried to overdose intentionally on melatonin by taking 100 mg at one time, but the only effects she experienced were drowsiness and a slight pulse elevation, \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.poison.org\/articles\/melatonin\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eaccording to Poison Control\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIs Melatonin Safe During Pregnancy?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePregnant women are aware that they must be more cautious about supplements they ingest which can impact the health and development of their child.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6888176\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of melatonin use during pregnancy found no adverse effects, and even suggested that melatonin supplementation may protect the child from adverse health outcomes later in life such as cardiovascular and neurological diseases. However, the data is much too early to state this as a fact; it’s just an area with promise that should be researched further.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe believe that due to the safety risks, no supplement should be recommended across-the-board to pregnant women, and that pregnant women should speak with their doctor about whether melatonin supplementation may be safe for them. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIs It Safe To Take Melatonin Every Night?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAs we’ve established in prior-linked research, melatonin has a fantastic safety profile and is safe for adults in doses up to 100 mg, but ideally at or below 10 mg as an effective dose.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOften, patients are curious about whether melatonin has any addiction potential. They worry that if they take melatonin every night, they may become dependent on it to sleep in the future.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFortunately, there is no evidence of tolerance or addiction potential based on a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3656905\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ethorough medical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e. This lack of tolerance effect held for all melatonin doses examined.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis makes sense logically, since as we established previously, melatonin supplementation doesn’t affect the body’s production of melatonin. So even if a patient were to take a relatively high dose of melatonin like 20 mg, their body would still be producing the same amount of melatonin as usual the day they stopped taking the supplement.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eWhich Brand of Melatonin Do You Recommend?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIf you’ve read to this point in the article, you’re probably curious about which type and brand of melatonin we recommend.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe generally don’t recommend specific brands to remain unbiased, and because we have no affiliations or partnerships with any brands.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe do recommend melatonin capsules over melatonin gummies. Capsule products typically have healthier inactive ingredients. We recommend looking for a melatonin capsule product with no harmful preservatives or fillers.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe don’t recommend melatonin gummies because these almost always contain added sugar, which is harmful to human health in excess. There’s no point in taking a health supplement with an additive that’s unhealthy.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMelatonin is one of the safest supplements available, and has no established toxic dose in humans. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere are certain groups like men looking to have a child, adults with blood sugar issues and pregnant women who may want to exercise caution with melatonin, but for most healthy adults there are no adverse effects to worry about.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe still recommend speaking with your doctor prior to taking melatonin, but the compound has significantly fewer side effects and less addiction potential than pharmaceutical sleep medications.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2021-12-09T00:30:02-05:00","updated_at":"2022-10-03T19:21:30-04:00","summary_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eWe analyze whether melatonin is safe based on medical research. We look at melatonin's safety for adults, children, pregnant women, and assess its addiction potential.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","template_suffix":"","handle":"is-melatonin-safe","tags":"_related:sleep"}

Is Melatonin Safe?

Is Melatonin Safe?


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.
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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Melatonin is one of the most popular supplements for sleep. It’s cheap and effective. But is it safe? That’s what we’ll investigate in this article based on medical research.

We will analyze whether melatonin is safe for adults, children, pregnant women and other groups in separate sections.

Does Melatonin Supplementation Impact Natural Production?

One of the most common questions patients ask is whether melatonin supplementation can affect their natural production of melatonin. Our bodies produce melatonin to regulate the sleep-wake cycle, so if natural production shuts down due to oral use that would be dangerous.

Thankfully, medical research has proven that taking melatonin supplements does not impact our body's production of the hormone. The above-linked medical study found that even doses as high as 50 milligrams (mg) daily, which is significantly higher than most over-the-counter (OTC) melatonin products, had no impact on the amount of melatonin secreted by the body.

Is Melatonin Safe for Adults?

Melatonin is one of the safest OTC supplements, and has no proven toxicity level. Researchers couldn’t even find an LD-50 dose (lethal dose for 50% of subjects) in animal studies which is uncommon, and shows how safe this compound is even at doses many factors higher than you’d get in a supplement.

We can conclude that melatonin is safe and non-toxic for adults, but there are two groups that may wish to avoid it: men seeking to have a child in the near future, and people with blood sugar issues.

One medical study found that some men taking a 3 mg dose of melatonin had negative impacts on their semen quality. This study hasn’t been replicated and only had 8 participants, so we don’t think it’s conclusive.

That being said, it may be worth speaking with your doctor before supplementing melatonin if you’re a man looking to have a child in the near future.

Another clinical trial found that melatonin supplementation negatively impacted glucose tolerance. Participants had increased blood sugar response to glucose after taking melatonin, so patients who are diabetic or pre-diabetic may want to speak with their doctor about monitoring their glucose in response to meals post-melatonin.

Is Melatonin Safe for Children?

Because melatonin has such a safe biochemical profile, there is actually a significant amount of research on it with child participants.

A medical review of melatonin’s use for sleep disorders in children concluded that it was safe in otherwise healthy children, but should be avoided in children with immune disorders due to how melatonin interacts with the immune system.

Another long-term study on melatonin’s safety for children found that its use entailed “no safety concerns regarding serious adverse events” and the average time to follow up was 3.7 years, meaning the children had been taking the melatonin for a long time in most cases.

A third review of melatonin as a sleep aid for children found “that significant side effects of melatonin in children have not been reported. This review analyzed over 100 individual studies on the topic.

Overall, we can conclude that melatonin seems safe for healthy children but may be risky for children with chronic conditions like immune disorders. We definitely recommend that parents speak with a pediatrician prior to use of OTC medications for their child, since the risk of any adverse reaction is higher to a developing body than to an adult.

How Much Melatonin is Safe?

While some melatonin products contain as low as 300 micrograms (mcg), there are plenty of OTC melatonin supplements that contain 20 mg or higher.

Many consumers are confused about how much melatonin they can safely take, especially if they have significant sleep issues that may be resolved with higher doses of melatonin than average.

While there exist studies on melatonin for sleep with doses as high as 20 mg, we generally recommend a dose of 10 mg or below. 

Doses as high as 100 mg have been used on patients with no adverse effects, so even doses that high are likely safe, but we haven’t come across much data suggesting that higher doses are more effective beyond a 10 mg limit.

Interestingly, a woman actually tried to overdose intentionally on melatonin by taking 100 mg at one time, but the only effects she experienced were drowsiness and a slight pulse elevation, according to Poison Control.

Is Melatonin Safe During Pregnancy?

Pregnant women are aware that they must be more cautious about supplements they ingest which can impact the health and development of their child.

A medical review of melatonin use during pregnancy found no adverse effects, and even suggested that melatonin supplementation may protect the child from adverse health outcomes later in life such as cardiovascular and neurological diseases. However, the data is much too early to state this as a fact; it’s just an area with promise that should be researched further.

We believe that due to the safety risks, no supplement should be recommended across-the-board to pregnant women, and that pregnant women should speak with their doctor about whether melatonin supplementation may be safe for them. 

Is It Safe To Take Melatonin Every Night?

As we’ve established in prior-linked research, melatonin has a fantastic safety profile and is safe for adults in doses up to 100 mg, but ideally at or below 10 mg as an effective dose.

Often, patients are curious about whether melatonin has any addiction potential. They worry that if they take melatonin every night, they may become dependent on it to sleep in the future.

Fortunately, there is no evidence of tolerance or addiction potential based on a thorough medical review. This lack of tolerance effect held for all melatonin doses examined.

This makes sense logically, since as we established previously, melatonin supplementation doesn’t affect the body’s production of melatonin. So even if a patient were to take a relatively high dose of melatonin like 20 mg, their body would still be producing the same amount of melatonin as usual the day they stopped taking the supplement.

Which Brand of Melatonin Do You Recommend?

If you’ve read to this point in the article, you’re probably curious about which type and brand of melatonin we recommend.

We generally don’t recommend specific brands to remain unbiased, and because we have no affiliations or partnerships with any brands.

We do recommend melatonin capsules over melatonin gummies. Capsule products typically have healthier inactive ingredients. We recommend looking for a melatonin capsule product with no harmful preservatives or fillers.

We don’t recommend melatonin gummies because these almost always contain added sugar, which is harmful to human health in excess. There’s no point in taking a health supplement with an additive that’s unhealthy.

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Conclusion

Melatonin is one of the safest supplements available, and has no established toxic dose in humans. 

There are certain groups like men looking to have a child, adults with blood sugar issues and pregnant women who may want to exercise caution with melatonin, but for most healthy adults there are no adverse effects to worry about.

We still recommend speaking with your doctor prior to taking melatonin, but the compound has significantly fewer side effects and less addiction potential than pharmaceutical sleep medications.




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