Study Title
Is Melatonin the “Next Vitamin D”?: A Review of Emerging Science, Clinical Uses, Safety, and Dietary Supplements

Deanna M. Minich, Melanie Henning, Catherine Darley, Mona Fahoum, Corey B. Schuler and James Frame


Melatonin has become a popular dietary supplement, most known as a chronobiotic, and for establishing healthy sleep. Research over the last decade into cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, fertility, PCOS, and many other conditions, combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to greater awareness of melatonin because of its ability to act as a potent antioxidant, immune- active agent, and mitochondrial regulator. There are distinct similarities between melatonin and vitamin D in the depth and breadth of their impact on health. Both act as hormones, affect multiple systems through their immune-modulating, anti-inflammatory functions, are found in the skin, and are responsive to sunlight and darkness. In fact, there may be similarities between the widespread concern about vitamin D deficiency as a “sunlight deficiency” and reduced melatonin secretion as a result of “darkness deficiency” from overexposure to artificial blue light. The trend toward greater use of melatonin supplements has resulted in concern about its safety, especially higher doses, long-term use, and application in certain populations (e.g., children). This review aims to evaluate the recent data on melatonin’s mechanisms, its clinical uses beyond sleep, safety concerns, and a thorough summary of therapeutic considerations concerning dietary supplementation, including the different formats available (animal, synthetic, and phytomelatonin), dosing, timing, contraindications, and nutrient combinations.

September 22, 2022
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