Understand the risks of consumption for weight loss and insomnia

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The consumption of melatonin capsules has turned fever among those seeking to sleep better and lose weight. What most do not know is that doctors do not recommend replacing a hormone produced naturally by the human body.

The pineal gland, located in the central region of the brain, is responsible for the production of melatonin, which has the function of regulating people’s biological clock.

“This hormone signals to the organs of the human body that night has arrived and that it is necessary to prepare the body to fall asleep. The production starts around 20h, when the sensations of sleep begin, but the effects are only felt when it changes to go into fasting. After entering the room, turning off the lights, we have a reduction in blood pressure, body temperature and metabolism so that the body goes into sleep”, explains Ricardo Teixeira Rienzo, an endocrinologist.

Permitted dose of the hormone has no proof of efficacy

On October 15, Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) approved the use of 0.21 mg of melatonin per day, as a food supplement.

Neurologist Dalva Poyares, a researcher at the Sleep Institute of São Paulo, observes that the dose accepted by the agency is small and there are no studies that prove the hormone’s efficacy as a medicine.

“What Anvisa approved is a small dose, in fact a small dose is a physiological dose. Melatonin cannot yet be approved as a drug, because studies are lacking.. For example, empirical doses are used, without formal indication, ranging from 1 mg to 10 mg. This is a very large dose range”, says the doctor.

He adds: “I can’t say, you’re in pain, so you can use anywhere from five drops to 100 drops of a pain reliever. We know that the dosage is per kilogram of an adult and a child. Another thing, when we talk about supplementation, it’s not something empirical, it’s something measurable. For example, the person takes vitamin D and is below what is desirable, the doctor recommends supplementation.”

Natural production is allied to weight loss

There are no tests to measure the level of melatonin in the body, but the doctor Ricardo Rienzo advises that it is possible to organize the routine so that the person increases the production of the natural hormone and obtains the benefits it brings.

“A good night’s sleep means that a person is less likely to be very hungry throughout the day and eat more than necessary. Melatonin plays a role in the synthesis and action of insulin in cells, among others, acting in the regulation of metabolism. It will help you lose weight in a natural way by the body’s own production. The indication is, around 20h, reduce physical activities, get ready for sleep, which will definitely favor weight loss. But it is not necessary to take this melatonin”, emphasizes the doctor.

Melatonin does not end insomnia

In the case of insomnia, the researcher explains that the only recommendation is for people who deal with time zone problems, the so-called jet leg.

“People use it to get to sleep and the only indication for sleep is someone who has a sleep disorder due to jet leg. People will adjust to the new schedule and will take it for a few days”, warns Dalva.

And he adds: “Melatonin is not indicated for insomnia because of low evidence of effectiveness. Melatonin has an effect on a person’s biological rhythm, so he can benefit from getting his bedtime earlier. But a high dose, estimated to be above 3 mg, can cause drowsiness in the morning and disrupt the person’s day,” she says.

The ideal, pointed out by doctors, for the treatment of insomnia is to find out what are the causes of the problem in order to be able to treat it correctly.

“It’s important to find out the cause, it may not be the sleep itself, sometimes it’s anxiety, irritability, or a series of other factors. Young people start earlier and earlier to fight the growing insomnia, precisely because they have an excessive exposure to electronic equipment, also at night. The presence of blue light as if it were day and melatonin won’t be produced. So, I can take whatever melatonin I want, if I’m in front of a cell phone it won’t do any good,” stresses Rienzo .

Understand the effects of melatonin overuse

In addition to drowsiness, excessive use of the hormone has contraindications, such as:

– swelling of the skin, mouth and tongue

– loss of consciousness

– depression

– irritability

– nervousness

– increased blood pressure

Another factor pointed out by experts is that it can affect the body’s natural production.

“There is what we call the negative feedback, which all hormone-producing glands have. The more hormone I take from outside, the more I stop producing. That is, my body interprets as if I had enough. Over time, the more hormone is taken irregularly, the more endogenous production is suppressed”, concludes Rienzo.

*With information from Portal R7

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