Function & Benefits of Melatonin Dietary Supplements
Melatonin as a dietary supplement has gained a lot of attention from consumers worldwide. This highlights a great opportunity for supplement brand owners. So, let’s take a few minutes to understand – what is melatonin, its benefits, and how brand owners can capitalize on the growing melatonin supplement market.
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What is Melatonin, and What Does it Do?
Melatonin is a natural sleep aid and offers an array of health benefits. It is a hormone that the brain is known to produce as a response to darkness. Melatonin has been found to help with the timing of the circadian rhythm – known as the 24-hour internal clock – and with sleep.
There are various studies on the other possible benefits of melatonin, such as support for eye health, gastric health and immune health, but the most common benefits do revolve around its effect on sleep.[i] [ii]
While melatonin can be synthetically prepared, we can also get it from:
- Natural animal-based sources like fish, eggs, or milk
- Plant-based foods like nuts, some varieties of mushrooms, seeds, legumes, etc. In addition, there is a natural, herbal source of melatonin which is also an option
What Are the Factors that Cause Melatonin to Decrease in the Body?
Scientific studies suggest that melatonin has been found to decrease with age. Along with this, other factors like disrupted light-dark cycles, night shifts, and increased weight are linked to decreased melatonin in the body.[iii]
What is Melatonin Good For?
Melatonin has shown favorable results in improving sleep quality. Let’s take a look at how it can help your consumers.
Studies have shown that Melatonin can:
- Help decrease the time required to fall asleep: People who consumed melatonin slept approximately 22 to 34 minutes sooner than individuals who took a placebo.[iv]
- Help improve sleep efficiency: Sleep efficiency is the ratio of total sleep time (TST) to time in bed (TIB).[v] People have been found to sleep longer and have better sleep efficiency with Melatonin.[vi]
- Assist with better sleep-wake cycle: Melatonin has also been shown to help balance the sleep-wake cycle, often called the circadian rhythm, which refers to the sleep pattern in a regular 24-hour period.
Melatonin for Jet Lag
Jet lag is a result of a person traveling across time zones. Post traveling, at least for a few days, the body’s internal clock is set to the individual’s departure location and not their destination. This may lead to them feeling stressed and hampering their focus. Several studies have shown that melatonin may help reduce jet lag symptoms.[vii] Moreover, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine also supports the use of melatonin to lower jet lag symptoms and aid sleep after traveling across more than one time zone.[viii]
Melatonin for Shift-Workers
Melatonin, often called the sleep-promoting hormone, is produced by the body in the evenings, in keeping with the circadian rhythm (light-dark cycle). Individuals working non-standard shifts may find this supplement beneficial when they consume it during other times of the day. The American Academy of Sleep suggests that melatonin can help night shift workers fall asleep during the day.[ix]
What Are the Other Health Benefits of Melatonin?
Besides being a sleep aid, what are melatonin supplements good for? Let’s take a deeper look:
- May help support the immune system: Melatonin has been found to switch on the T-cells in your white blood cells, thereby aiding good immune responses.
- Act as an antioxidant: Melatonin has been shown to work as an antioxidant that can help protect cells from oxidative damage without triggering free radicals and also help improve the body’s immune system.
- Help protect mitochondria in cells: Mitochondria provides cells with the power they need to function optimally. Melatonin has been found to benefit mitochondrial function, thanks to its antioxidant properties.
- May help with Seasonal Affective Depression (SAD): As mentioned before, light affects the circadian rhythm, and this may cause sleep-related issues for people in places where seasonally, days get shorter and nights longer, leading to seasonal affective depression (SAD). Melatonin may help manage this.
- Help maintain eye health: Melatonin has been found to be high in antioxidants, which may help reduce cell damage and maintain eye health, especially for older individuals.[x][xi]
Why Do Melatonin Supplements Have Market Potential?
People often find it challenging to catch up on their sleep schedules due to hectic lifestyles, demanding jobs, family responsibilities, and other social factors that may have glorified sleeplessness. This sends them to retail shelves to find support in the form of natural sleep aids and dietary supplements.
At the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington DC) annual conference in November 2019, market researchers highlighted the growing popularity of the sleep and mood category. The latest market research also shows that melatonin supplements, projected to grow with a CAGR of more than 10% between 2016-2026, are well on their way upward.[xii][xiii]
Complimenting the increasing awareness around proper sleep and its benefits, more consumers are looking for drug-free alternatives to aid sleep. This is contributing to the growth of the melatonin supplement market.
Choose NutraScience Labs For Your Melatonin Supplement Needs
With the market showing promise for sleep aid supplements and melatonin having good benefits for consumers, this is a good time to bring out a line of melatonin supplements.
We at NutraScience Labs understand that when it comes to tapping any supplements’ potential, quality matters – and that is something we never compromise on.
NutraScience Labs has provided over 2,300 dietary supplement brands globally with world-class supplement manufacturing services. With expertise in the various processes associated with producing high-quality supplements, we offer solutions such as flavoring, labeling, packaging design, and order fulfillment.