An estimated 60 million Americans experience insomnia each year, according to the National Institutes of Health, and they increasingly turn to the supplement melatonin for potential help. But how do you choose the right one?U.S. sales of melatonin increased 16.7% in 2014 to $378 million, according to Nutrition Business Journal.
While melatonin supplements can help some people to fall asleep, differences among products, as reported recently by ConsumerLab.com, can leave anyone trying to choose the right product tossing and turning.
ConsumerLab.com purchased a variety of popular melatonin supplements, testing them to be sure they contained the listed amounts of melatonin without unacceptable levels of lead contamination and that tablets would disintegrate properly to release ingredients.
All of the selected supplements passed these tests.
However, suggested daily serving sizes ranged from 0.3 mg to as much as 10 mg and the cost to get an equivalent amount of melatonin ranged from just 2 cents to $2.
“This means you could be taking much more melatonin as well as spending more money than you need to,” said Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of ConsumerLab.com.
Although melatonin has generally been found to be safe for short-term use in adults, it is a hormone and should be taken carefully at the lowest possible effective dose.
ConsumerLab.com’s recent findings and recommendations are available online in its new Melatonin Supplements Review, which includes results and quality ratings for nine products selected by ConsumerLab.com and ten which passed the same tests in ConsumerLab.com’s voluntary Quality Certification Program.
The report also explains dosage for different sleep issues and conditions, the difference between regular vs. timed-release formulas, other uses for melatonin, and potential drug interactions and side effects of melatonin.
The lowest cost of the products suggested was Swanson 3 mg melatonin at 2¢ per capsule ($2.59 per 120 capsules). The most expensive brand (Pure Encapsulations Melatonin Liquid) was $1.08 for 3 mg.
The products included in ConsumerLab.com’s new report are:
- CVS Pharmacy Melatonin,
- Finest Nutrition (Walgreens) Melatonin,
- FoodScience of Vermont Melatonin-3,
- GNC Melatonin,
- Herbatonin 0.3 mg Plant Melatonin,
- Life Extension Melatonin,
- Natrol Melatonin,
- Nature Made Melatonin,
- Nature’s Bounty Melatonin,
- NOW Melatonin,
- Pure Encapsulations Melatonin Liquid,
- Rexall Melatonin,
- Schiff Melatonin Plus,
- Solgar Melatonin,
- Source Naturals Melatonin,
- Swanson Melatonin,
- TwinLab Melatonin Dots, and
- Vitamin Shoppe Melatonin.
Founded in 1999, ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Membership to ConsumerLab.com is available online and provides immediate access to reviews of more than 1,000 products from over 400 brands. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.