You may have heard various talks about melatonin and its use in aiding sleep, but do you know what melatonin is and how it works. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleeping cycle. It is often used in supplemental forms for the short term treatment for people who have trouble sleeping. However, it a very powerful substance and should be used with caution especially in cases of serious illnesses like cancer.
Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland and is believed to play a role in anti-aging, as well as helping with jet lag and insomnia. However, some caution is advised when using melatonin as a supplement, given how potent its effects are. Research done indicates that melatonin had an antioxidant effect. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage by oxidation. Antioxidants slow down the aging process, and interestingly, melatonin levels often decrease with age.
People who should not take melatonin supplements are:
* pregnant women
* breastfeeding mothers
* couples trying to conceive
* people with serious allergies
* HIV and cancer patients
It is generally recommended that people with cancer not take melatonin, as there is still not enough research done on humans. However, some of the research that has been done with people suggests that melatonin may be very helpful - if it is taken with the supervision of a doctor. Now melatonin is a very powerful substance, only small doses are needed to create improvements. For example, one researcher found that dosages as small as 2 to 3 mg only, for some people who are suffering from insomnia.
Overall, melatonin is very promising, and may well help people with serious illnesses like cancer and multiple sclerosis. You may increase our dietary intake of foods like walnuts that potentially supply us with this amazing nutrient and may have a host of protective health benefits as well as slowing down the aging process.