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Be Well
Dr. Jamie Fettig

Why Trust me, Dr. Jamie?

Anti-Aging Tip

Anti-Aging Tip: Melatonin Does More Than Help You Sleep

By Al Sears, MD

As prescriptions - and profits - for sleep aids like Lunesta and Ambien continue to rise, drug companies often take potshots at natural remedies that actually work. Melatonin is a good example.

But melatonin does more than just help you sleep. This hormone has anti-aging properties that help you look and feel younger. And melatonin can protect your cells against diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. It also stimulates the release of human growth hormone (HGH), one of the primary hormones of youth.

Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant. It destroys disease-causing molecules called free radicals at an incredible pace. And it does something most other antioxidants can't: It stimulates extra antioxidant enzymes that can protect against everything from wrinkles to illness.

For anti-aging benefits, take just 0.5 mg a day. To help you sleep, take between 1.5 mg and 2 mg before going to bed. If you have a chronic disease, like cancer, a stronger dose of 20 mg to 40 mg before bed is recommended.

But don't take a higher dose without discussing it with your doctor. And women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid the use of all hormones without a doctor's supervision.

[Ed. Note: Dr. Sears has prepared an in-depth report on melatonin. It's free to ETR readers.]


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