"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Melatonin consumption amongst children and adolescents is increasing rapidly

November 13, 2023 – A brand new study found that more children and teenagers are taking melatonin to assist them sleep, while experts warned that oldsters could also be unaware of a few of the risks, especially with long-term use.

Melatonin gummies also appear like candy, which may be dangerous, especially for young children.

Melatonin is a hormone whose effects on puberty are still unclear. The researchers also noted that not all melatonin supplements contain what they claim – some tested in a separate study contained two to 3 times the quantity of melatonin on the label, and one complement contained no melatonin in any respect.

A matter of timing?

While the study researchers didn't recommend against the sleep complement entirely, they did note that short-term use was probably safer.

“We are not saying that melatonin is necessarily harmful to children. “But much more research needs to be done before we can say with certainty that long-term use is safe for children,” lead study creator Lauren Hartstein, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow within the Sleep and Development Lab on the University of Colorado Boulder, said in a press release.

“Talk to your child's doctor before giving your child melatonin,” said Raj Bhui, MD, a sleep doctor and spokesman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, who was not involved within the study. “If, after considering potential risks and benefits, melatonin is recommended as an appropriate treatment, they may recommend a dose and timing to address the sleep problem.”

A growing trend

From 2017 to 2018, only about 1.3% of fogeys reported that their children used melatonin national data Consideration of the usage of dietary supplements in children and adolescents. In fact, usage on this younger population greater than doubled from 2017 to 2020, one other study revealed. “Suddenly, in 2022, we noticed a lot of parents telling us that their healthy child was taking melatonin regularly,” Hartstein said.

She and her colleagues surveyed the parents of 993 children aged 1 to under 14 from January to April 2023. They found that about 20% of those school-age children and adolescents were taking melatonin as a sleep aid. The Resultspublished within the magazine on Monday JAMA Pediatricsalso suggest that some parents routinely administer melatonin to their preschool children.

They found that just about 6% of preschool children ages 1 to 4, 18.5% of kids ages 5 to 9, and 19.4% of kids ages 10 to 13 had taken melatonin within the previous month .

The researchers also found that many took melatonin for greater than a number of nights. Preschool children took the complement for a mean of 1 12 months, elementary school children took the complement for a mean of 18 months, and preschoolers took it for a mean of 21 months.

What is included in your complement?

Melatonin supplements, like many other dietary supplements, are usually not reviewed by the FDA for safety and effectiveness.

In one other study In their study published in April, researchers examined 25 melatonin gummy products and located that 22 of them contained different amounts of melatonin than stated on the label. In fact, one called “Sleep Plus Immune” contained greater than 3 times that quantity, and with a complement called “Sleep Support,” researchers didn’t detect melatonin.

There is a typical misconception that supplements are natural and due to this fact protected, Bhui said. “Several studies of commercially available dietary supplements have shown that we cannot assume that what is on the label is what is in the pill or that what is in the pill is disclosed on the label. Formal laboratory testing has revealed that some dietary supplements are adulterated with unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients, contaminated with microbes, or even contaminated with toxins such as arsenic, lead and mercury.”

Choosing a product with the USP Verified Mark could give parents some comfort regarding melatonin content and consistency with the label, Bhui said. It can also be essential to take measures to make sure supply at home to make sure that children don’t by accident ingest the supplements. “With the increasing use of melatonin, this has become a growing problem.”