Thursday, 13 Dec 2018
Health

Do you take melatonin to sleep better? Warning at risk for certain populations

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                   © lisa_16 – Fotolia.com

The National Agency for Food Safety, Food, Environment and Labor (ANSES) advises against certain populations to consume food supplements containing melatonin because of side effects.

What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a sleep-promoting hormone secreted naturally during the night. In food supplements, the molecule is generally obtained by synthesis. The products that contain it are used to fight against insomnia and disturbances due to jet lag. They are on sale in France.

The risks

After examining the reports of side effects reported to it and comparing them with the state of the research, ANSES concluded that there are populations and risk situations for which consumption of melatonin in the form of a dietary supplement should be avoided or referred to a doctor.

The recommendations

ANSES recommends to pregnant and breastfeeding women, children and adolescents, people suffering from inflammatory diseases, autoimmune, epilepsy, asthma, mood, behavior or personality disorders, those who are taking medication, to avoid using it. Also concerned are persons who must carry out an activity requiring sustained vigilance in which drowsiness could pose a safety problem.

In any case, it is important to limit the intake of these food supplements to a specific use and seek advice from his doctor.

To know :

In France, the regulation authorizes the marketing of food supplements providing less than 2 mg of melatonin per day. Given the variability of the regulations governing the use of this molecule in the European Union and in the absence of sufficient data on the safety of daily consumption of 2 mg of melatonin, ANSES considers it necessary that a harmonized regulatory framework is defined at European level on the basis of safety studies.

It also highlights the importance of implementing international cooperation on the monitoring of adverse effects associated with the consumption of food supplements.

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