A Study Finds Some Melatonin Supplements Have Different Doses Than Advertised

Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle in the body. It is often used as a supplement to aid in sleep, particularly in cases of insomnia or jet lag. However, a new study published in the journal BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology has found that some melatonin supplements on the market may contain dramatically different dosages than what is advertised on the label.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Guelph in Canada, analyzed 31 different melatonin supplements available for purchase in Canada. Seventy-one percent of the supplements had higher or lower melatonin levels than they claimed.

Image Credit: Pexels/Karolina Grabowska

In some cases, the variation was extreme. One supplement contained 83% more melatonin than advertised, while another contained 478% less. On average, the supplements tested contained 10% more or 26% less melatonin than stated on the label.

It is not the first time concerns have been raised about the accuracy of melatonin supplements. In 2017, the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), a nonprofit organization that sets standards for medication, published a report that found similar discrepancies in melatonin supplements sold in the United States.

The new study highlights the need for greater regulation and quality control in the supplement industry. Unlike prescription drugs, which are subject to rigorous testing and law by government agencies, dietary supplements are not required to undergo the same level of scrutiny.

Image Credit: Pexels/Yaroslav Shuraev

Consumers who use melatonin supplements should know the potential variability in dosages and speak with a healthcare professional before taking any supplement. Additionally, individuals with difficulty sleeping should consider non-pharmacological interventions, such as practicing good sleep hygiene, before taking supplements.

In summary, the new study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that melatonin supplements may not always contain the advertised dosages. Consumers should exercise caution when using these supplements and consider alternative methods for improving sleep.