Melatonin: Ingestion methods

Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 5:09 pm

Melatonin is usually taken orally. It is available in pills, capsules, and liquids. It also can be absorbed from under the tongue. It is sometimes injected when it is used as a treatment for cancer.
Most commercial preparations contain much higher doses than the 30 micrograms typically produced by an average adult male. While researchers do not know what dose may be optimal for Therapeutic use, several studies indicate that between 0.5 to 5.0 mg is sufficient for treating jet lag. Some studies suggest that time-release forms, however, may be ineffective.
The natural production of melatonin by the pineal gland varies during the course of a day. Melatonin levels are very low during the daylight hours and increase when it is dark. The time a person swallows an over-the-counter formulation of melatonin is just as important as the amount ingested. Taking melatonin during the middle of the day may not help people to sleep better at night and, instead, may make them tired and decrease their alertness.
Slow-release capsules are also available. However, the results of a review of 10 studies that investigated the effectiveness of melatonin for treating jet lag indicated that time-release capsules are not effective for treating jet lag.

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