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March 23, 2018  |  Login
By James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.
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Description: Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in the brain's pineal gland that regulates the body's biological clock and sleep cycles. Melatonin is produced in response to darkness. This hormone has been shown to be helpful for insomnia, seasonal affective disorder, and other mood disturbances. It has potent antioxidant properties and also protects against radiation damage.


  • Aging
  • Cancer (breast and prostate)
  • Cluster headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Jet lag
  • Radiation exposure
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Tardive dyskinesia

Precautions: Pregnant women or nursing mothers should avoid supplementing melatonin unless instructed to do so by their physicians. People with cancer should also consult with their doctors first before supplementing melatonin. Children should not supplement melatonin unless instructed to do so by their doctors. People on steroid medications should avoid taking melatonin unless their doctors feel it is appropriate.

Dosage: Take 0.3 to 0.5 mg as a starting dosage for insomnia and jet lag.

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