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The Truth About Melatonin

Updated: Apr 3

With so many people suffering from sleep issues, melatonin is becoming a popular supplement. Melatonin is a highly lipid-soluble hormone. Melatonin supplements are typically synthetically made, despite the availability of whole food sources.

Melatonin is a highly lipid-soluble hormone, allowing it to cross cellular membranes and the blood-brain barrier. It is made in the pineal gland from tryptophan. The amount of melatonin naturally increases during the 11 pm - 3 am time frame. When sunlight is present, another hormone, serotonin, is stored. When serotonin is stored, the enzyme that converts serotonin to melatonin cannot reach it. However, once natural light is unavailable, another hormone - epinephrine - is released, causing serotonin to become available and increasing melatonin production (1). Additionally, melatonin is available in synthetic forms such as supplementation to help raise the body’s natural levels and encourage s