Do you ever take melatonin gummies?
Melatonin gummies are super popular these days and quick search on Amazon yields over 1,000 results.
❓But do they actually contain what they say on the label?
You may have already heard about this recent report on melatonin gummies in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), but if not, here’s a breakdown:
➡️ 25 melatonin gummy products were analyzed
‣ One product contained 31mg of CBD but didn’t contain any detectable levels of melatonin
‣ In products that did contain melatonin, the quantity of melatonin ranged from 74% to 347% of what it said on the label
‣ 22 out of 25 products (88%) were inaccurately labeled
‣ Only 3 products (12%) contained an amount of melatonin within 10% of what was indicated on the label
Here’s my take:
There’s a time and place for melatonin supplements.
Melatonin can be helpful for non-sleep related conditions (it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties), but that’s outside the scope of this newsletter.
When it comes to sleep, melatonin is used for certain conditions like circadian rhythm disorders and in specific populations. However, it’s not very effective for most people as a stand-alone treatment for insomnia.
→ Melatonin products are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…and as shown in this report, they don’t necessarily contain what they say on the label.
What you need to know:
✅ Quality matters. When we do prescribe melatonin in our practice, we recommend pharmaceutical grade supplements. Melatonin gummies are not candies and shouldn’t be treated as such.
✅ Dose matters. Most people take doses that are too high. Doses of 0.3 to 1mg are generally recommended.
✅ Melatonin is not a benign supplement. It is a hormone…and has effects on the body beyond sleep.
✅ Melatonin is produced by the body in response to light and dark cycles. The best way to boost your natural melatonin production is to get bright sunlight in the morning and darkness at night.
If you’re struggling with sleep, skip the melatonin gummies and talk to a professional for guidance. Sleep issues are highly treatable.
To your wellbeing,
Dr. Bhopal & The Pacific Integrative Psychiatry Team