Tune in to Dr. Oz September 25 when he explains everything you need to know about melatonin, the oft controversial sleep aid supplement. He also talks about natural stress relievers and the myths about anti-aging that are actually making you older.
Melatonin is a hormone made naturally by your body to regulate sleep patterns, but it is also made synthetically in a laboratory. Audience members on this episode learn adverse facts about melatonin, telling Dr. Oz they thought the supplements were completely safe, when in fact they could be poisoning your body. (more…)
The recommended amount of sleep is usually around 6 to 8 hours. We not only want to focus on the quantity of sleep but also the quality. You should wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day. If you feel your sleep cycle is getting out of wack, here are some supplements and hygiene tips you can try to help you go to la la land.
Most health-conscious consumers routinely avoid additive-laden foods. But are they missing hidden dangers by accepting “natural” additives at face value?
The Food and Drug Administration might say so. Earlier this week, the FDA issued a strong warning to HBB LLC, the manufacturers of “Lazy Larry” brownies, a product laced with melatonin and marketed through convenience stores and the company’s website. The FDA says it can seize the brownies if the company continues to manufacture and sell them.
Melatonin is a hormone that, while “natural,” affects the sleep-wake cycle and can make consumers sleepy. According to the FDA the addition of melatonin makes the brownies unsafe. Included on the packaging is a warning against driving or operating heavy machinery after consumption.
Although melatonin is fairly unregulated as an over-the-counter supplement, the FDA suggests that consumers, especially children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those with autoimmune diseases should consult their doctor before eating melatonin-laced foods. Some medical research suggests that use of melatonin could result in reproductive, cardiovascular, ocular and neurological issues.
Who here hasn’t had suffered from a food coma a time or two? Well, some history is not worth repeating. Take it from me, you can have fun, enjoy all the Thanksgiving harvest, and still fit into your jeans the next day. But how do you avoid this whole “food coma” thing? It starts with understanding what makes you feel that way. There’s a couple things going on and it’s hormonal.
Tryptophan, Serotonin and Melatonin
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid (protein building block the body cannot make). It is high in many protein rich foods, like turkey. Tryptophan helps build muscle like other amino acids, but it is also a specific precursor of serotonin. Nearly all serotonin is in the gut where it regulates GI movement, but about 20% is actually dispersed in the central nervous system (CNS) where it regulates mood, appetite, sleep, muscle contraction, and some cognitive functions including memory and learning. Some serotonin can become melatonin, which regulates your sleep/wake cycles. (more…)