SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 23, 2015 – Labdoor, the supplement testing and rating service, announces that their new Melatonin Rankings are now published online and ready to help consumers find the highest quality melatonin products on the market.
The CDC recently published a statement calling insufficient sleep a public health problem. In fact, 50-70 million American adults are estimated to suffer from sleep disorders, and melatonin seems to be a common choice for therapy. In the decade between 2003 and 2014, melatonin sales have increased over 5 times from $62 million to $378 million. The supplement is also sold in various formulations, some even specifically targeting children through fruity flavors and chewable gummies. Research suggests that melatonin supplementation may help normalize abnormal sleep patterns and decrease the time it takes to fall asleep. The size of the effect depends heavily on the cause of insomnia though; melatonin might be more effective for individuals over 55 years of age, people experiencing jet lag, shift workers, and patients with seasonal depression. Also, because dosages vary greatly between melatonin products and long-term research on the neurohormone is lacking, caution is warranted for self-administration.
Labdoor tested 30 best-selling melatonin products in the US using 150 chemical assays to measure amounts of active and inactive ingredients and determine whether products had harmful levels of heavy metals. Tested products contained anywhere from only 1% of their label claims to 47.4% more than their label claims. 16 of 30 products contained less melatonin than what their labels promise.
Still, melatonin supplements are often made with much more melatonin than necessary.
Benita Lee, MPH, research associate at Labdoor, explains, “Our response to melatonin relies on the supplement elevating our melatonin levels at night, peaking during sleep, and decreasing back to normal physiological levels by the following day. If too much is taken, peak and normalizing times can be delayed, which can disrupt sleep for the next night. The key is to find an effective low dose. Taking a lot of melatonin does not mean it’s more effective.”
Research experts suggest starting with a 0.3 mg dose of melatonin and slowly increasing up to 5 mg if lower doses don’t work. All but one product had more than 0.3 mg, and 12 of the 30 products exceeded 5 mg.
Products were also screened for potentially harmful inactive ingredients. Seven products were found to have controversial additives including the artificial sweetener, sucralose, preservatives that can cause cancer, and titanium dioxide, a whitening agent linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s. Labdoor also flagged 2 products for possibly exceeding safe limits for levels of inorganic arsenic, a reproductive toxin.
This new report from Labdoor is designed to help consumers find safe and effective melatonin supplements. Labdoor publishes the data about each product’s key active ingredients and potential contaminants on its website. “Quality” and “Value” rankings are also available for viewers to sort through and select products that interest them.
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