Dr. Bredesen incorporates melatonin into his protocol, which makes good sense. But it's not that simple.
Normal melatonin blood levels increase an hour or longer before bedtime and they are sustained throughout the night. So far, so good.
Exogenous melatonin often creates unpredictable blood levels. There are several things to consider regarding this.
1. Unlike in the EU, melatonin is considered a nutritional supplement in the US and is not regulated. The dose on the bottle doesn't necessarily reflect what's in the tablet. The New York Times did a series of articles on OTC supplements revealing that some had no active ingredient. And this is not new. With melatonin in particular, the concentration actually in the pill often is very discordant from the label.http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/06/opini ... ments.html
2. Most melatonin does not survive gastric acid and the first pass through the liver. The subsequent blood levels are a bit hard to predict when you take the intended dose of the real thing.
3. Regular immediate release melatonin is cleared from the blood pretty quickly, in about 4 hours. This falls way short of covering the entire sleep cycle, particularly when it is often taken a while before bedtime.
So what to do? If you are in a country where prescription Circadin is available, that's an option. It's time released and reliably pure. But if you can't access that, you can settle for the crude immediate release melatonin that is cheap and everywhere. Or you can get slow release melatonin. The trick there is to find a brand that you believe in. Note what the University of Michigan says about contaminants.http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/d04058a1
Mayo Clinichttp://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplem ... b-20059770
Here's another concern:
Arsenic concerns and improper levels
Two of the top 30 melatonin brands that were tested were shown to have arsenic content that exceeded California's Prop 65 proposed limit for inorganic arsenic. According to the proposal, inorganic arsenic levels should not exceed 0.1 mcg/day.
Additionally, 16 out of 30 products contained less melatonin than what their labels promise. Ubervita Ubersleep was the worst performer, measuring only 0.01 mg/serving of its 6 mg/serving claim.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some melatonin products contained much more melatonin than necessary -- and more does not equal better.
“The key is to find an effective low dose,” explains Benita Lee, MPH, research associate at LabDoor. “Taking a lot of melatonin does not mean it’s more effective. If too much is taken, peak and normalizing times can be delayed which can disrupt sleep for the next night.
Natrol Melatonin 5 mg (Time Release) exceeded its label claim by 47.4%, the most by all products tested. It measured 7.37 mg/serving compared to its claim of 5 mg/serving. Twelve tested brands recorded melatonin content above their label claims, with five products exceeding their claims by at least 20%.
In our sleep center we've usually relied on this product. It seems as good as most and the company has a good reputation. The extended release formula should be at least double what you'd expect in the standard preparation.https://www.amazon.com/Melatonin-5mg-Ti ... cting&th=1
I hope all this helps. But there are no guarantees that melatonin will help you, that it's not contaminated, and that the dose is what you think it is. Sorry.