Are melatonin supplements a safe & natural treatment for insomnia?
A burgeoning supplement industry certainly wants you to think so.
It promotes exogenous (supplemental) melatonin as a natural, safe way to improve sleep.
Further, megadoses of exogenous melatonin are lauded in the natural health care community.
As safe & effective.
Melatonin’s unique antioxidant properties are used to justify such megadoses.
Leading it to be trumpeted as a safe wonder drug without side effects.
But other exogenous hormones - such as testosterone, estrogen, & thyroid hormone – are all recognized as potentially dangerous & highly-regulated.
Indeed, melatonin is widely considered safe.
And available over-the-counter.
As a “dietary supplement”.
Melatonin is marketed as a “natural”, benign alternative to pharmaceutical sleeping medication, such as benzodiazepines.
But, as Dr. Oz writes, exogenous melatonin is not natural.
So megadoses of a hormone ...
... you see where I’m going with this.
For starters, every hormone in the body operates on a feedback loop.
Ever heard of the dangers of anabolic steroids, such as testosterone?
These dangers revolve around such feedback loops.
The testes sense elevated levels of free testosterone in the bloodstream.
Quite rightly, they decide they don’t need to work to produce any more male hormone.
And that’s OK.
In the short term, that is.
Like taking a vacation.
Nothing wrong with kicking up your feet for a couple of weeks.
But imagine you won the lottery & decided to never work again.
Preferring to lie around on the couch all day.
Over time, what would happen to your muscles?
They would start to atrophy.
Similarly, what do exogenous anabolic steroids cause in the long term?
Glandular atrophy in response to exogenous hormones is not limited to testosterone.
It is widely observed for all hormones.
In fact, Dr. David Clark argues that the pineal gland – which produces melatonin – acts in precisely the same manner.
This is why melatonin supplements contain safety warnings.
Like, "do not exceed two or three weeks of continuous use."
Hormonal feedback systems are not limited to each individual hormone.
No hormone is an island.
There is a complex interplay between different hormones in the body.
Consequently, exogenous melatonin has side effects involving other hormonal systems
Such side effects of melatonin include:
- Decreased reproductive function, including
- Suppressed thyroid function
- Increased cortisol levels
So, melatonin is unsafe, right?
Once again, it comes down to individuality.
For one patient's unique constitution, melatonin may be completely effective, tolerated & safe.
For another, it might be useless or actually harmful.
Indeed, I have prescribed melatonin to several patients over the years.
And each has experienced great benefits from it.
However, the prescription & precise form of melatonin for each of these patients was made on a highly-personalized basis.
One that took into account all aspects of each patient’s unique state.
Such individualization & personalization underlie all modalities used in my treatment.
Modalities incorporating the best of conventional western medicine, such as:
- Scientific Workup, Analysis & Treatment
- Computer-Aided Diagnosis & Treatment Tools
- Botanical Medicine
- Exercise Therapy
- Naturopathic Manual Manipulation
- Therapeutic Nutrition, including
- Raw Food Therapy
- Fasting Therapy
- Weight Loss Therapy
- Natural Supplements
- even Pharmaceuticals
- Naturopathic Counselling
- Addiction Therapy
- Cancer Therapy, including
- Gerson Therapy
As well as esoteric, unconventional approaches to health, such as:
- Bowen Therapy
- Neuroemotional Technique (NET)
- Neuromodulation Technique (NMT)
- Neural Organizational Technique (NOT)
- Autonomic Response Testing (ART)
- Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
- Light & Laser Therapy
- Anti-Aging & CRAN Therapy
- Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET)
- Total Body Modification (TBM)
- MORA Bioresonance Therapy
- VEGA Electrodermal Therapy
- SCIO Quantum Energy Therapy
- Binaural Beats
- Music Therapy
- Energy Medicine
Regardless of modality used, my focus is the same.
Ensuring that you are fully, appropriately & safely treated.