Explore the Myths of Melatonin
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Explore the Myths of Melatonin

Explore the Myths of Melatonin

With: Dr. Deanna Minich

About the Episode

How much melatonin is too much?

Join Dr. Deanna Minich, nutrition scientist, international lecturer, educator, and author, with over twenty years of experience in academia and in the food and dietary supplement industries, as she breaks down what we know about melatonin. She dives deep into the science of how it works in the body and gives you actionable steps to help them start feeling better now!

Spoiler alert: It’s not just good for your sleep!

What We Discuss

What is Melatonin

Melatonin is a compound that’s found widely throughout nature, animals, and that our bodies can make. Our Pineal Gland produces melatonin at peak darkness, and it can act as a hormone. Although it’s often been considered a sleep-aid, it’s also an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and very potent when it comes to free radical scavenging activity. It was first isolated from the pineal gland of animals in the late fifties, so a connection was made to the pineal gland, circadian rhythm, and then entering sleep. However, some of the stronger research is on immune health and mitochondrial regulation in brain health.

In September of 2022, Dr. Minich and her colleagues published a paper that stated melatonin is the next vitamin D because of its importance in a wide range of our body’s functions and the fact that many people are not producing enough quantities.

Dietary Sources of Melatonin & Dosage

Many myths surround Melatonin and how we can get it from food sources. In the paper Dr. Minich contributed, she looked at many different food sources. Melatonin is mostly found in nuts, seeds, and some plants. However, since the concentration is so small, you’d need to eat extreme amounts of these foods to get enough Melatonin to support your body’s needs.

Tart cherry juice is another source of Melatonin people like to use at bedtime, but we have to remember there are other ingredients in these things that contribute to health. Drinking enough cherry juice to get the full benefit of Melatonin also means consuming a lot of sugar.

The impacts and benefits of high doses of Melatonin also haven’t been studied in depth. If we try to determine a base clinical protocol or a dosing regimen based on the published science, it would be about a 0.3 milligrams total dose. This amount is a low, physiologic dose that coincides with the replenishment levels of the body.

The Science of Inflammation

Melatonin is metabolized much like caffeine is, and we all metabolize it differently. Some people will need less melatonin, others might need more, and this can change as our bodies do. When Dr. Minich started having vasomotor symptoms at night such as night sweats, hot flashes, and sleep disruption, she knew it was a sign to increase her melatonin intake.

Sometimes, inflammation during the night can cause us to wake up. As we’re sleeping to allow better convection of fluid into the interstitial space, we’re releasing toxic amyloid metabolites from the brain into the glymphatic fluid. That fluid drains into the lymphatic vessels and then goes through our circulation.

Research is showing melatonin aids in that process which helps reduce inflammation. The brain is filled with lipids, and can get very inflamed. So, with melatonin being a very effective anti-inflammatory, having it at night can help perimenopausal women with their sleep, brain function, and reduce brain fog.

Upcoming Research

Researchers are still gathering data about melatonin, and there is still a lot we don’t know. For example, the impact of taking high doses of Melatonin in the long term. Dr. Minich knows that some practitioners are taking double digits of melatonin without having the data, but that is not supported by science.

When it comes to children, Dr. Minich doesn’t think it’s appropriate to give them long-term high-dose melatonin. However, looking at the risks and rates of chronic diseases, whether cardiovascular, metabolic, or neurological, they all somewhat coincide with that dip in melatonin. So, giving lower doses of melatonin as children go may help better support them as these levels naturally decline over time.

There is still a lot of research to be done on melatonin, and even more myths surrounding it.

Learn how to use melatonin to stay healthier in this information-packed episode!

Guest Bio

Dr. Deanna Minich is a nutrition scientist, international lecturer, educator, and author, with over twenty years of experience in academia and in the food and dietary supplement industries, currently serving as Chief Science Officer at Symphony Natural Health. She has been active as a functional medicine clinician in clinical trials and in her own practice (Food & Spirit™). She is the author of six consumer books on wellness topics, four book chapters, and over fifty scientific publications. Her academic background is in nutrition science, including a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago (1995) and a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Medical Sciences from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands (1999). She has served on the Nutrition Advisory Board for The Institute of Functional Medicine and on the Board of Directors for the American Nutrition Association. Currently, she teaches for the Institute for Functional Medicine, University of Western States, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and Institute for Brain Potential. Through her talks, workshops, groups, and in-person retreats, she helps people to practically and artfully transform their lives through nutrition and lifestyle. Visit her at: www.deannaminich.com

Links

https://www.facebook.com/deanna.minich/
https://www.instagram.com/deannaminich/
www.deannaminich.com
https://deannaminich.com/dr-deanna-minich-blog-2/
Is Melatonin the “Next Vitamin D”?: A Review of Emerging Science

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Explore the Myths of Melatonin
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This test evaluates the presence of harmful mycotoxins (toxins produced by molds).

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Explore the Myths of Melatonin
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