Froggie wrote:I've used Valerian root and it seemed to work okay for sleep. It took, however, awhile to kick in. Melatonin is another great sleep aid that I've had success with. I use a sub-lingual liquid, as the tablets I first tried really upset my stomach. The only caveats are sluggishness the next day if you take too much and it tends to induce very strange dreams.
Here are some reasons to avoid melatonin.
: Expert Opin Investig Drugs 2001 Mar;10(3):467-76 The immunotherapeutic potential of melatonin.
Center for Experimental Pathology, Istituto Cantonale di Patologia, PO Box, 6601
Locarno, Switzerland. firstname.lastname@example.org
The interaction between the brain and the immune system is essential for the
adaptive response of an organism against environmental challenges.
In this context, the pineal neurohormone melatonin (MEL) plays an important role.
T-helper cells express G-protein coupled cell membrane MEL receptors and,
perhaps, MEL nuclear receptors. Activation of MEL receptors enhances the release
of T-helper cell Type 1 (Th1) cytokines
, such as gamma-interferon (gamma-IFN)
and IL-2, as well as of novel opioid cytokines. MEL has been reported also to
enhance the production of IL-1, IL-6 and IL-12
in human monocytes. These
mediators may counteract stress-induced immunodepression and other secondary
immunodeficiencies and protect mice against lethal viral encephalitis, bacterial
diseases and septic shock. Therefore, MEL has interesting immunotherapeutic
potential in both viral and bacterial infections. MEL may also influence
haemopoiesis either by stimulating haemopoietic cytokines, including opioids, or
by directly affecting specific progenitor cells such as pre-B cells, monocytes
and NK cells. MEL may thus be used to stimulate the immune response during viral
and bacterial infections as well as to strengthen the immune reactivity as a
In both mice and cancer patients, the haemopoietic
effect of MEL may diminish the toxicity associated with common chemotherapeutic
protocols. Through its pro-inflammatory action, MEL may play an adverse role in
Rheumatoid arthritis patients have increased nocturnal
plasma levels of MEL and their synovial macrophages respond to MEL with an
increased production of IL-12 and nitric oxide (NO). In these patients,
inhibition of MEL synthesis or use of MEL antagonists might have a therapeutic
effect. In other diseases such as multiple sclerosis the role of MEL is
However, the correct therapeutic use of MEL or MEL antagonists
should be based on a complete understanding of their mechanism of action. It is
not yet clear whether MEL acts only on Th1 cells or also on T-helper Type 2
cells (Th2). This is an important point as the Th1/Th2 balance is of crucial
importance in the immune system homeostasis. Furthermore, MEL being the
endocrine messenger of darkness, its endogenous synthesis depends on the
photoperiod and shows seasonal variations. Similarly, the pharmacological
effects of MEL might also be season-dependent. No information is available
concerning this point. Therefore, studies are needed to investigate whether the
immunotherapeutic effect of MEL changes with the alternating seasons.
PMID: 11227046 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]