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General Questions about Melatonin
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland in the brain in response to darkness. Melatonin helps control the body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock and, by doing so, supports restful sleep. Research also demonstrates that melatonin has unique antioxidant properties and may benefit immune health. (Source)
What are some risk factors for a deficiency in melatonin?
Exposure to artificial light in the evening hours, especially blue light (e.g. smart-phones), flying through multiple time zones, and frequent changes in one’s work schedule can disrupt the body’s internal clock and impact the pineal gland’s release of melatonin in the body. Melatonin levels may be influenced by stress, overconsumption of alcohol/caffeine, and smoking as well. Because the reasons for a melatonin deficiency can be complex and varied, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional if you are concerned about the health of your pineal gland or if you are considering taking melatonin to support healthy sleep.
Are there any food sources of melatonin?
Melatonin occurs naturally in a wide variety of foods including fish, eggs, nuts, vegetables, and medicinal herbs. It is worth noting that melatonin is often present in such tiny amounts in food that it may not produce observable health benefits. If you are interested in learning more about the dietary sources of melatonin, please click here.
Can melatonin be taken long-term?
Melatonin is typically taken on a short-term basis to promote restful sleep and a normal circadian rhythm. We encourage you to consult your healthcare provider to determine what use, if any, is best for your individual needs.
Is melatonin habit-forming?
Melatonin is a hormone made naturally in the human body and is not known for creating symptoms of dependence or for being habit-forming. Melatonin works with the body’s own chemistry to promote a healthy sleep cycle. That being said, as with any supplement, individual experiences can and do vary, so if you have any concerns about the risk of dependency with long-term use of melatonin, please talk to your healthcare provider prior to supplementation.
Is there any way to improve my sleep quality without having to supplement with melatonin?
In healthy individuals, the pineal gland releases melatonin in response to darkness in preparation for sleep and getting an adequate amount of natural light during the day may help support the release of natural melatonin by the pineal gland at night. Given this, the best way to improve your sleep quality without relying on melatonin or other supplements is to spend time outdoors when possible during the day and avoid exposure to bright sources of light, particularly the blue light emitted by electronic devices, during the evening hours before bedtime. As with any supplement, we encourage you to discuss any concerns you may have about your sleep cycle, or the potential use of melatonin, with a healthcare professional so that you can make an educated decision on the best way to support your specific health goals.
Can melatonin supplements be taken with OTC or prescription medications?
If you are taking or planning to take an OTC or prescription medication, please consult a licensed pharmacist or your healthcare provider before beginning supplementation to minimize risk of side effects associated with potential supplement-drug interactions.
Still have questions?
- For general information about melatonin, check out the resources below—
- Melatonin: What You Need to Know - National Institutes of Health
- Melatonin and Sleep — Sleep Foundation
- For specific guidance on the suitability of melatonin to support your particular health goals, please talk to your healthcare provider.
Questions about Melatonin Gold
What is the source of NutriGold’s melatonin? How does it compare to most melatonin supplements?
Most melatonin supplements provide synthetic melatonin created with industrial chemicals and harsh solvents. In contrast, Melatonin Gold provides a completely natural, plant-based melatonin from wild-crafted St. John’s wort flowers. The St. John’s wort is not treated with any pesticides, collected using an environmentally-friendly and sustainable method, and gently extracted using food-grade ethanol only. In addition, Melatonin Gold is Non-GMO Project Verified, certified vegan, certified kosher, and manufactured without chemical additives, which is consistent with our commitment to making the cleanest supplements using the purest and most sustainable ingredients available.
Does the St. John's wort extract also contain hypericin and/or hyperforin like the standardized extracts in St. John's wort supplements?
Hypericin and hyperforin are both bioactive compounds that are present in St. John's wort and the natural concentration of these compounds varies based on region, harvest season, etc. Most commercially available St. John's wort supplements are standardized to contain about 0.3% hypericin and/or 3% hyperforin. Although the phyto-melatonin in Melatonin Gold is derived from St. John’s wort, most of the hypericin/hyperforin content is removed during processing. So, residual amounts of hypericin/hyperforin, even if present, are very low in Melatonin Gold.
Should individuals who avoid St. John's wort extract due to possible herb-drug interactions with other OTC or prescription medications they may be taking also avoid Melatonin Gold?
As a general rule, consumers taking any OTC or prescription medication should always talk to their healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement to ensure that the supplement is safe and effective for their particular health needs.
Supplements made using St. John's wort extract standardized to hypericin and/or hyperforin typically include the following warning—"This product should not be used by pregnant or nursing women, or by persons who are taking antidepressant medications. Persons taking other prescription drugs should seek the advice of their prescribing physician prior to using this product. Avoid excessive exposure to UV radiation (e.g., sunlight or tanning) while using this product. Keep out of reach of children."
However, our understanding is that these warnings about possible herb-drug interaction when taking St. John's wort extract are attributable mostly to the standardized amounts of hypericin and/or hyperforin in the extract. And, although the phyto-melatonin in Melatonin Gold is derived from St. John’s wort, most of the hypericin/hyperforin content is removed during processing, so the potential for herb-drug interaction risk when taking Melatonin Gold, while theoretically present, is very low.
It is also worth noting that typical dosage of St. John's wort standardized to hypericin and/or hyperforin is 300 mg up to 3 times daily (900 mg a day) and, at the recommended maximum daily dosage of Melatonin Gold, consumers would be taking only a fraction (about 5%) of that standard 900 mg daily dosage. This provides additional assurance that Melatonin Gold should be safe when taken as recommended and, if you are taking OTC or prescription medications, under the guidance of your healthcare provider. Please be advised that the clarification provided is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat a medical condition, or as a replacement for professional medical opinion. In keeping with our fundamental guiding principle to "do no harm," we encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider prior to supplementing with Melatonin Gold to ensure that it is both safe and effective for your particular health needs.
What is the best time of day to take Melatonin Gold?
Melatonin Gold should be taken 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime or as directed by a healthcare professional. Melatonin may cause drowsiness and should not be taken before an activity that requires alertness. As a matter of principle and in the interest of your health and safety, we encourage you to consult your healthcare provider prior to supplementation to determine what use, if any, is best for your individual needs.
Why does Melatonin Gold contain tapioca maltodextrin?
At NutriGold, we make every effort to make products without the use of any additives. However, there may be times, as in the case of our Melatonin Gold product, when an additive may be required to ensure finished product integrity. When that happens, we mindfully choose to use plant-based additives like tapioca maltodextrin instead of the more commonly used additives like corn starch, corn maltodextrin, and soy lecithin.
Can I break apart the capsule and add the contents to liquid/food to consume?
All of our products are formulated to be taken as capsules and our purity and potency claims are based on the product being taken as recommended. We generally do not recommend breaking apart the capsules because it can introduce contaminants or otherwise compromise product potency and effectiveness.
Can I take more than what is recommended on the label?
Because we are not a licensed healthcare provider, we regret we cannot make any recommendations with regard to taking a dosage higher than what is suggested on the product label.
Is Melatonin Gold suitable for children (under 18 years of age)?
Melatonin Gold is formulated for individuals over 18 years. Because children are considered a vulnerable population, we regret we cannot make any recommendations regarding the use of our products by or for children under the age of 18. We ask that you talk to your pediatrician or family practitioner about whether or not Melatonin Gold is suitable and safe for your child’s particular healthcare needs prior to supplementation.
How does NutriGold ensure the purity of the ingredients used in its melatonin product?
At NutriGold, we go beyond what is recommended or required under current GMPs to independently verify that the raw materials used in our products as well as the finished products themselves meet industry-defining quality and purity standards. Depending on the complexity of the testing involved, including determining what needs to be tested, what methods are fit-for-purpose, and which lab is most qualified to perform the testing, we sometimes have results from as many as 4 or 5 different independent, ISO-certified labs for each product. We take these results from third-party labs and summarize them in lot-specific Certificates of Analysis that are freely available in the spirit of authentic transparency on the product pages on our website so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions.