Melatonin gummies have 300% to 500% more than label amount, study says

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A recent study found that melatonin gummies may be doing more harm than good.

Melatonin is a hormone that is released naturally to help regulate sleep cycles.

The hormone is largely connected to the time of day.

“It’s not regulated in the same way that medicines are regulated, so you get lots of different brands out there,” said Dr. Phil Boucher, pediatrician at Frontier Pediatric Care. “There’s not a lot of checking of how much melatonin is actually in each of those individual gummies.”

A study of 25 common brands of melatonin gummies in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the labels on the bottles were wrong in almost every case.

Boucher, who is familiar with the study, says either each gummy had more than what was on the label or something else in the gummies altogether.

“Typical dosing is between 1 and 5 milligrams of melatonin,” he said. “Some of them had 300% more, 500% more. One even had zero melatonin in it and. instead, had CBD in it.”

And another recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that melatonin overdoses in children have been on the rise.

“In the past 10 years, there’s been over 4,000 hospitalizations for melatonin overdose in children, so it’s not zero,” Boucher said. “There is some risk with it, and it can have significant consequences, including hospitalization, ICU stay, those sorts of things.”

He said there’s not enough research on the long-term effects.

And pediatricians say melatonin supplements are not necessary.

As kids get ready for bed, Boucher says there are better ways to release normal amounts of melatonin.

Overall, it’s best to have a big difference in daytime and nighttime by using lower lights and less screen time.

The best advice, experts say, is to consult with your doctor before you buy.

“It’s good to not take things that we don’t need to take,” he said.

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