Research weighs risks and benefits of melatonin use

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Research weighs risks and benefits of melatonin use

When slumber doesn’t come naturally, some are turning to melatonin, an over-the-counter sleep aid that often is mistaken for a supplement. But could the risk of melatonin outweigh aby benefit?

Melatonin is a powerful hormone that plays an important role in human biology, and now sleep specialists are questioning whether increasing levels could be doing more harm than good.

A new investigation launched by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine is looking into the safety of melatonin.

While the health advisory checking the evidence is underway, the academy is recommending that melatonin not be used for insomnia in adults or children.

The specialists are concerned that Melatonin may affect body temperature, blood sugar, and blood vessel tone.

Other potential risks include imprecise dosing, impurities, and puberty hormone disruption.

Melatonin will probably need to be regulated by the FDA as a medication – especially for children – the Academy points out. And what place, if any, it will have for managing chronic insomnia is “a big question mark.”

Results of the investigation by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine will be published on its website in a few months.

Read the full story in WebMD.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2022. This blog provides healthcare tips and advice that you can trust about a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.


  1. Teresa A Dudley says:

    I read my first Dr Walt book and truly loved it, “The Best Medicine….”. I Iearned so much and I am inspired to do better. Thank you so much.

    • Dear Teresa,

      Thanks so much for the feedback and kind words. They are both an encouragement and blessing to me. And, I hope you’ll enjoy the sequel, The Best Gift: Tales of a Small-Town Doctor Learning Life’s Greatest Lessons, also.

      Dr. Walt

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