Melatonin for more than just sleep

Are you aging and don’t feel as sharp as you used to? Do you have macular degeneration or other vision problems? Were you diagnosed with breast cancer, or other estrogen-sensitive cancer? Do you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or do you have an ulcer? Research is showing increasingly that people suffering from these and other conditions, in addition to those with sleep-related problems, can benefit from taking melatonin every night as a supplement.

The major concern I hear from people who consider taking melatonin is that it is a hormone and they worry that taking it as a supplement could impair the body’s ability to make its own. I understand their concern because many other hormones, including thyroid and sex hormones, have been shown to have such an inhibiting effect. However, this does not appear to take place with melatonin. Based on the studies I have seen, even administration of enormous doses of melatonin in experimental animals did not alter the body’s production of nighttime melatonin (see J Pineal Res. 1996 Nov; 21 (4): 231-8 and others like it).
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