Beginning with the improvement of sleeping nights, know what this substance is increasingly studied and what its indications are In the center of our head, right in the middle of the brain, there is a structure the size of an orange seed. It is the pineal gland, which the french philosopher rené descartes (1596-1650) considered the home of the soul, and the hindus, the seat of one of the most important chakras in the body. it is there, as science later revealed, that the hormone of the night, melatonin, is produced. a substance that has already been copied and synthesized by man and is increasingly in evidence in research and in the market. while in brazil it starts to show up, in the united states it is widely found. it is mainly sold with the promise of better sleep. manufactured by the body, melatonin not only regulates the moment of sleep but also participates in the repair of our cells, exposed to stress, pollution, and other harmful elements. "It is a powerful antioxidant and fights free radicals that attack the organism" , says josé cipolla neto, professor at the institute of biomedical sciences at the university of são paulo.
In reality, the substance is among the most primitive that is known and appears in all living beings, including plants. "Melatonin is the hormone of the night", says endocrinologist Bruno Halpern, director of the Brazilian Association for the Study of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome. In sync with the end of the day and the brightness, it starts to be released in order to prepare the body for the night. The answer to this phenomenon varies according to the species: rats are smart and active to look for food, we want to go to bed. Synthetic melatonin is a molecule just like the natural version. On American land, it is sold as a food supplement - hence the high availability. In Europe and other countries, however, control is stricter.
Melatonin, better known as a sleep hormone, is a substance produced by the brain as the day gets dark so that the body understands that it is time to sleep and begin to slow down. The melatonin peak occurs during sleep and its level is reduced in the early morning, signaling that it is time to wake up and return to action. With this function, melatonin supplementation is commonly used by those who have difficulty falling asleep. In Brazil, patients can buy formulations prepared by handling pharmacies, provided they have a prescription. But there are countries, such as the United States, where the hormone is even sold in supermarkets in a bullet shape and about 3 million people consume the substance frequently.
Is it worth taking?
Although the melatonin supplement is popular with patients, it is far from being unanimous among doctors. On the one hand, many professionals recommend improving patients' sleep quality. But on the other hand, doctors say that there is not enough scientific evidence about the use. “Clinical studies on the use of melatonin as a supplement are not definitive. In theory, the substance makes us sleep well, but we need to study and do tests to see how this ingested melatonin, which is not produced by our body, actually works in the body ”, says Fabio Porto, a behavioral neurologist at Hospital. One of the questions asked is when would be the right time to take the hormone. "Nobody can say for sure how long before bedtime it would be beneficial to ingest melatonin if that's how you lie down or two hours before.
After Caesar to be sold freely in many countries in Europe and also in the United States, Brazil's melatonin supplement is still unknown since it is considered a drug and is produced only by prescription in drugstores. However, there are several uses for this type of natural hormone, ranging from migraines to sleep disorders. In addition, a Brazilian researcher has shown that melatonin can also help control diabetes and even decrease appetite. Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the body. "It's the sleep neurohormone," says Porto, a neurologist at Hospital. "It can help regulate sleep. Since sleep disturbance is one of the main triggers or triggering factors for migraine, those with insomnia or sleep restriction are much more likely to have a crisis," he explains.
Porto states that when sleep arrives, it is relatively stable in most people, and the role of melatonin there is only to promote the change from the waking state to the sleep state. As melatonin is naturally produced by the body at daybreak, those who have normal production and stay away from light sources - especially blue light - tend to have a good biological rhythm. However, there are people who have a deficiency in hormone secretion - the elderly may have a low - or even not produce properly because of their lifestyle. And this is where the melatonin supplement can act quite effectively. "Officially, melatonin is not part of the therapeutic arsenal for the treatment of insomnia disorder", explains Andrea Bacelar, neurologist and coordinator of the Scientific Sleep Department of the Brazilian Academy of Neurology.