Melatonin – Uses and Side Effects
Melatonin is a hormone which is primarily synthesized in brain. This natural compound is found in both plants and animals and has different medicinal properties as well. Its primary function is to block radiation that comes from the sun. Melatonin is produced during sleep and people who lack it will undoubtably have a interrupted sleep cycle. In this case melatonin supplements can really help.
This post explains in detail regarding the mechanism of action, uses, side effects and safety of Melatonin.
Melatonin is used to treat a number of diseases including depression, cardiovascular problems, headache, insomnia and cancer however its primary function is to help regulate sleep. This substance is available in various over the counter drugs as well. It is used by people working in night shifts and to ensure proper sleeping patterns in blind people. Melatonin has provided good results in Alzheimer’s disease as well. This is because of the fact that learning and memory has been associated with melanin receptors too. Various clinical trials have revealed that melatonin can benefit cancer patients as well. Some experiments in rats have also proved that melatonin can reduce the body weight and abdominal fat. The mechanism here revolves around the stimulation of brown adipose tissue.
Melatonin supplements are popular as home remedies for treating insomnia. These supplements act by regulating the cardiac rhythm in the body. Cardiac rhythm is also known as sleep cycle. Thus by taking these supplements the body metabolism can be accelerated which results in calmness and sleep.
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The drug is tolerated in majority of patients. However, minor side effects like drowsiness and headache may be reported in initial stages. So far as the drug interactions are concerned, no other drugs interfere with melatonin levels. Some precautions are required in diseased people while taking this hormone. Firstly, pregnant women or those who are going to conceive should avoid taking this hormone. This is because melatonin inhibits the secretion and activity of luteinizing hormone. Again, this hormone should not be used in people suffering from bipolar disease as it can worsen their attacks.