Melatonin-dose for anti-aging

Jo Robinson jor at teleport.com
Sun Nov 26 17:03:08 EST 1995

	So -- getting down to basics.  If you want to take melatonin
for anti-aging purposes, how much should you take? [Jteiber, this
is response to your query as well.]  
	No one knows with any certainty.  The theory that many people
 are proposing is that you should aim to recreate the melatonin levels
 you had in your youth, which, for many people, is between 75-150 
 picograms per ml.  This amounts to hormone replacement therapy.  
	How much melatonin do you need to take to attain those levels?
It depends on the preparation you are using (sublingual, timed-release
or fast release) and the vagaries of your own liver. If you have
an efficient liver, it will filter out as much as 90 percent of the 
melatonin, converting it to 6-hydroxymelatonin.  Eventually, it
is secreted in the urine.  If your liver is sluggish, more of the melatonin
will enter your bloodstream. This tends to happen as you age.
["Pineal Melatonin: Cell Biology of its synthesis and of its
physiological interactions." Russel J. Reiter.  Endocrine Reviews 1991;
	In general, most people are taking far too much melatonin.
 In a recent study, 500 micrograms --0.5 mg. -- was shown to produce peak
melatonin levels of 610 picgrams on average.  (On the high end, one
person had blood levels of 900 picograms.  On the low end, another
person had 300 picograms.) Intl. J. of Pharmaceutics 1995 "Design
and evaluation of an oral controlled release delivery system ..."
	This study suggests that a dose of 0.3 milligrams might
be more appropriate for many people.  An even smaller dose should be
taken if you are using a sublingual preparation, because this format
delivers more melatonin to the bloodstream by by-passing the "first-
pass effect" in the liver.  On the other hand, a higher dose might
be required in a time-release preparation because the melatonin
is released throughout the night. [ Cardiovascular Research has a
1.8 timed-release preparation 1-800-888-4585. I have no financial
connection with this or any other melatonin supplier.]
	I, myself, take about 300 micrograms a night, which I achieve
by dividing a 1 mg. capsule.  Even this low dose helps me sleep and
has lowered my blood pressure substantially.
	As you can see, there is no definitive anti-aging dose.  Those
of us who are taking it at the present time are guinea pigs in an
unsupervised, unfunded experiment.  What is unfortunate is that it
is highly unlikely that melatonin will ever be tested as an anti-aging
strategy for humans.  It cannot be patented, therefore it would be
financially infeasible to conduct the long-term, large-scale study that
would be necessary to produce definitive results. 

Coauthor with Russel J. Reiter, Ph.D., 
Melatonin: Your Body's Natural Wonder Drug   Bantam 1995
|       Jo Robinson		    |            jor at teleport.com             |
|      (503)284-4676                |     2826 NE 18th Portland, OR 97212     | 

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