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How does melatonin work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. The production of melatonin takes place in the dark and inhibits the production in daylight.

How does melatonin work in the body?

Melatonin works in different ways in the body. It regulates our sleep-wake cycle, strengthens the immune system and has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Benefits of Melatonin

  • Supports a healthy sleep-wake cycle
  • Relieves sleep disorders such as jet lag or shift work
  • Strengthens the immune system

Disadvantages of Melatonin

  • May cause daytime sleepiness
  • Can affect the effects of medication
  • May cause side effects such as headaches or nausea

How is melatonin taken?

Melatonin is best taken about 30 minutes before bedtime. The dose should be adjusted individually. It is highly advisable to consult a doctor before taking it.

Are there any official health claims about melatonin?

According to European legislation, the following health claims about melatonin are allowed:

  • Melatonin contributes to the relief of subjective jet lag (from a minimum dose of 0.5 mg taken immediately before bedtime on the first day of travel and on the following days shortly before bedtime).
  • Melatonin helps reduce the time it takes to fall asleep (from a minimum dose of 1 mg taken immediately before bedtime).
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