How Much Melatonin Is Really In That Supplement?

Melatonin is a popular over the counter supplement that many in the U.S. and Canada use as a sleep aid. However, researchers from the University of Guelph in Ontario recently found that many melatonin brands are mislabeled and actually contain much more or less of the sleep hormone. Furthermore, after a thorough laboratory analysis, eight out of 31 melatonin brands had significant amounts of serotonin present, a drug typically used in the treatment of neurological disorders. Scientists found that over 70 percent of the melatonin supplements analyzed were not labeled accurately. The melatonin content specifically varied from 83 percent less to as much as 478 percent more than what the label indicated. Even different lots of the same brand were inconsistent in their true melatonin content.

According to Josiane Broussard, a fellow of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado, these findings should be of real concern to consumers. It’s estimated that over 3 million Americans use melatonin as a sleep aid or to recover from jet lag. Because prior research shows that melatonin could possibly degrade depending upon its transportation and storage conditions, the findings about the variability of melatonin content are not surprising. What is surprising and is of even greater concern to researchers is the presence of serotonin, which is a controlled substance. This information warrants additional research to investigate if the serotonin is naturally present or is being added by melatonin manufacturers.

Key Points:

  • 1Melatonin is used in benefits to help you sleep soundly throughout the night.
  • 2Laboratories found that eight of thirty one also had serotonin in the supplement.
  • 3It is a real concern for scientists to find these type of findings in supplements.

Scientists who analyzed the sleep-hormone supplements purchased in Canada said more than 70 percent were misleadingly labeled.

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