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Are Melatonin Supplements Safe? – Michigan Medicine

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Sleep is essential in the pursuit of a long, healthy life. While some of us are habitual in our sleep-wake schedules, a lot of us probably aren’t. And more and more often, people are reaching for a melatonin supplement to improve sleep quality or duration.

A Michigan Medicine sleep expert says that while these supplements are generally safe and can be helpful, they aren’t as magical as some people make them out to be.

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“If taken at the appropriate time and dosage, melatonin is great for jet lag and helping night owls to fall asleep earlier,” says Leslie Swanson, Ph.D., clinical associate professor in psychiatry at Michigan Medicine’s Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory.

Although melatonin has its benefits, Swanson notes that studies have shown minimal improvement in sleep for people with insomnia after taking a supplement. On average, results show a seven-minute decrease in the time it takes to fall asleep.

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Our bodies already make melatonin that helps us regulate our sleep-wake cycles so a supplement isn’t always needed. As it gets darker at night, the brain’s pineal gland gradually releases melatonin, which makes us drowsy as bedtime approaches. As the sun rises and our wake time approaches, melatonin levels gradually decrease. Our brains can only make melatonin in dim light — bright light stops its release.

Long-term safety unknown

Swanson says melatonin supplements are safe for adults to use in the short term, but because there haven’t been any long-term studies in humans, the long-term safety is unknown.

Smaller doses of melatonin supplements — 0.5 milligrams or less — produce levels similar to what the brain makes naturally. After taking a larger dose, such as 3 milligrams, melatonin levels may rise to be 10 times higher than normal.

What remains in question is how much melatonin is too much.

“From animal studies, we see that very high doses of melatonin don’t cause death. It’s low toxicity,” Swanson says.

SEE ALSO: 5 Tips for Better Sleep (Counting Sheep Not Required)

As we age, we produce less melatonin at night.

For adults older than 55 who choose to take melatonin supplements, Swanson recommends 0.5 to 2 milligrams, taken about an hour before bed. If you’re a night owl or traveling across time zones and you want to take a supplement to shift your body clock, Swanson recommends a small dose of 0.5 milligrams of melatonin about five hours before desired bedtime to simulate the brain’s natural level of production.

“It’s as effective as a larger dose but with fewer side effects,” Swanson says.

Negative side effects

Although melatonin has no serious adverse effects, possible side effects include extreme drowsiness, dizziness, headache and nausea.

According to Swanson, research in animals suggests that melatonin may affect the reproductive system and it crosses into breast milk. For this reason, the supplements aren’t recommended for children and pregnant or breastfeeding women if other options can be tried.

SEE ALSO: 8 Tips to Help Older People Fall — and Stay — Asleep

The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate melatonin supplements, unlike those other medications you may be taking, so the product you get might not be consistent with what the label says. And they’re widely available.

Swanson says to be hypervigilant and always speak to a health professional if you have any questions or concerns about a product.

“Be aware if you have hypertension, diabetes or epilepsy,” Swanson says. “Melatonin supplements can impact these diseases and can interact poorly with medications for these conditions.”

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Collagen supplement use growing in popularity, improves skin, hair and nails – WXYZ

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There are so many options when a person goes into a supplement store, from vitamins to minerals and protein powders and more.

The latest one to grow in popularity? Collagen.

At Supplement Giant, owner Adam Watts says collagen powder is a popular product.

“Collagen is actually the most abundant amount of protein in our body,” Watts said.

Collagen represents 30 percent of a human body’s protein content.

“It’s found in animal bones ligaments and tendons again not traditionally part of our diet anymore,” he said.

Most brands sell collagen as a great supplement to take to improve a person’s hair, skin, fingernails, and bone and joint health.

“If you have a deficiency of collagen in your skin it can decrease you skin health which can cause stretch marks, dark spots, infections,” Watts said.

He suggests people age 30 and older take a collagen supplement.

“After the age of 30, collagen decreases by 1 percent, so by the time you’re 50, you’ve lost 20 percent of your collagen,” he said. “If you have injuries, collagen is going to help and repair tissue.”

Registered Dietician Jessica Crandall Snyder said she recommends food as medicine, not supplements.

“Being active on a daily basis you are actually helping to re-synthesize your collagen,” she said, “So supplemental sources from protein powders may not be the way for you to get adequate nutrition.”

While Adam Watts sells collagen powder at whole sale, other stores start the product at $25 per container.

But eggs, wild salmon, tomatoes, pumpkin and chia seeds are affordable foods that aid in collagen production.

The experts say collagen powder works, but make sure it’s not your main source of protein.

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CA Permit Sale of Hemp-Derived CBD in Foods & Supplements – The National Law Review

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California Assembly Bill 228 would expressly permit the retail sale of hemp-derived CBD in foods and supplements in California, notwithstanding the Food and Drug Administration’s position to the contrary. On Thursday, May 16, 2019, AB-228 passed through the State Assembly’s Appropriations Committee with a unanimous 18-0 approval. The Bill, sponsored by Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (District 4), moves to the House floor where a two thirds vote is required for it to continue on to the Senate for approval. 

AB-228 is intended to address the guidance offered by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in July 2018, which prohibits hemp-derived CBD from being added to foods. The CDPH’s release provides: 

California incorporates federal law regarding food additives, dietary use products, food labeling, and good manufacturing practices for food… Currently, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that it is a prohibited act to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food (including any animal food or feed) to which tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or CBD has been added. This is regardless of the source of CBD – derived from industrial hemp or cannabis. 

While manufacturing and retail sales of marijuana-derived CBD products are permitted in accordance with California’s cannabis regulations, hemp-derived CBD remains unapproved for use as a food ingredient, food additive or dietary supplement. 

The City of Los Angeles took a similar position when its Department of Public Health, Environmental Health, which regulates food operators, issued the following guidance: “use of industrial hemp derived products in food will be considered adulterated and cited by DPH-EH as a violation resulting in a deduction of two (2) points on the official inspection report.” The Los Angeles guidance becomes effective on July 1, 2019. 

In response to the FDA’s position, California would join multiple states, including Colorado and Illinois, that have released policies allowing hemp-derived CBD in foods. AB-228 provides that “the sale of food or beverages that include hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp shall not be restricted or prohibited based solely on the inclusion of industrial hemp or cannabinoids, extracts, or derivatives from industrial hemp. 

Though legalization at the state level does not preclude FDA enforcement, AB-228 would provide California defendants with an affirmative defense in civil court to unlawful adulterant allegations regarding CBD products. AB-228 also would allow hemp-derived CBD product sales by licensed cannabis businesses and declare that industrial hemp and its derivatives are an agricultural product. 

If the California House of Representatives passes AB-228, it will move on to the Senate where it must receive support by an assigned Senate committee before being placed on the Senate floor for a vote. If approved by the Senate, AB-228 will be delivered to Governor Newsom for final approval.

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Warning: Avoid dietary supplements from these 12 companies – ActionNewsJax.com

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In the quest to be healthy, dietary supplements continue to be a popular option with some people but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent warnings to companies hawking such products should cause potential customers to proceed with caution.

The agency recently sent out warnings to several companies that it said did not adhere to government guidelines on dietary supplement claims and their purported benefits.

FDA warns 12 companies over dietary supplement claims

Three of the companies ran afoul of the law by making claims about phenibut, which is sometimes marketed as a sleep aid. According to the FDA, phenibut does not meet the statutory definition of a dietary ingredient.

The FDA also issued nine warning letters to companies marketing DMHA (Dimethylhexylamine or 2-aminoisoheptane) as an ingredient in numerous dietary supplements.

In April 2019, the FDA determined that DMHA, which is often marketed for weight loss and sports performance, is either a “new dietary ingredient” for which the agency has yet to receive the mandatory New Dietary Ingredient notification or is “an unsafe food additive.”

The violations ultimately mean that American consumers may be buying and using products that are not approved for consumption. It also means the remedial claims of the products are as of yet unproven.

On the FDA’s website, a dietary supplement is defined as “a dietary ingredient as a vitamin; mineral; herb or other botanical; amino acid; dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of the preceding substances.”

But then there is this major distinction: “Unlike drugs, supplements are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure diseases. That means supplements should not make claims, such as ‘reduces pain’ or ‘treats heart disease.’ Claims like these can only legitimately be made for drugs, not dietary supplements.”

Here are the FDA warning letters to the 12 companies

Warning Letters (DMHA):

Warning Letters (Phenibut):


Do you use dietary supplements? If so, do these warnings concern you at all? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Warning: Avoid dietary supplements from these 12 companies appeared first on Clark Howard.

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