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Melatonin - Popular natural youth/sleep/cancer/youth hormone illegal in Holland.

by Jasper van Capelle in Health & Body , 19 augustus 2004


WHAT IS MELATONIN
Melatonin is a hormone made by a part of your brain called the pineal gland. Melatonin is produced at night to help our body regulate our sleep-wake cycles. The older you get, the less amount of melatonin your body produces. In 1989 the benefits as an all-natural sleeping aid for humans was proven. In the early 90's clinical trials on mice proved an outlive fo their (mouse)life espectancies by a third, an increased sexdrive, curing cancer,etc. In 1995 Melatonin became a popular supplement, when Newsweek published an article about the antiaging hormon.


Newsweek started a mediahype making Melatonin the best selling health supplement in the USA. Today Melatonin still used by millions of Americans for anti-aging effects, jet lag, insomnia, shift-workdisorders, an anti-oxidant against Cancer and Alzheimer, and many more diseased.


Health vitamins and drugs in Holland.
Vitamins & Health supplements which are sold in supermarkets internationally can be illegal or prescriptive drugs in Holland. Health stores and superstores like Wal-Mart in the USA sell lots of supplements and drugs which you won=t find in our regular stores. Mood Enhancers like Kava Kava and 5-HTP are illegal and Melatonin is a prescription drug, unless sold in an extremely low doses. To get a presciption is hard in this country, especially if your doc has not heard about Melatonin. Our country (especially Amsterdam) is internationally known as a drugsmekka. Unfortunately this only seems to be the case for some Abad drugs@. Only Marijuana/Hash are legal to buy and smoke. Rest of the party pills & powders are as illegal as in any other country!



Getting a prescription for drugs
Most effective supplements & drugs (I=m talking about medicines now, not the party stuff) are on prescription. AOur@ prescription drugs can often be found low-priced over-the-counter in other European countries. Doctors in the Netherlands are not easy with giving a presciption.
A good examle is a survey about antibiotic use in Europe in 2001:
The Swedish Institute for Infectious Diseases reported that the French give nearly 37 antibiotic doses every day for each 1000 people, compared with just about 9 doses in the Netherlands (the lowest in Europe). In our doctor=s encyplopedia provided to every G.P. about all diseases and drugs, Melatonin seams to not exist.

Dutch Pharmacy and drugs
If you get a prescription you=ll find the next problam: does the Pharmacy know how to make it?
New drugs might take years before being sold in the dutch pharmacy. If a drug is approved by the FDA (the US FOOD & Drugs Administratrion) our little country doesn=t take facts for granted and like to do their own little studies.Viagra (the erection pill) & propecia (hair grow medicin) took years to be available here. Some drugs might never come (some diving medicines which you can find anywhere are not sold here. Even Dutch diving doctors advice to get the drugs in Belgium).
On most serious medical dutch websites you can not find any information on this popular American supplement. Sometimes you can find statements as Athis new drug is promising, but we do not know enough about the long term effec (how long is long?)@. Exception are dutch cancer sites, they seem to know all about the hormon!



Few pharmacies know how to make melatonin in Holland. Van Mierloo apotheek is one of them, selling 100 tablets of 1mg for 64 Euro (pricelist March 2004). The Pharmacy website www. apotheek .nl (in dutch) never mentioned melatonin untill March this year. In the news section I one found one article. The subject is that selling of low doses melatonin (0.1 mg, without prescription) will probably be forbidden this year by the Dutch Health authorities. Reason is that the health claims which are made about Melatonin can only be true if taken in higher (prespription) amounts. So the pharmacy will get the monopoly!

Is Melatonine really working?
For sleep disorders:

Probably yes. You can find lot=s of studies with possitive results for use against insomnia, as a jet lag pil, for rotating shift-workers. I brought some Melatonin from the States (3 mg) and gave it to some friends who are used to benzodizazepine (heave sleepingpills). All of them prefered Melatonine and did not have site effects.
Agains Cancer:
Depending on the kind of cancer: on prostate cancer, tumors, liver cancer it might help. Please always ask your specialist.
As youth hormon:
If you are a mouse, yes! For humans it=s not really proven.Maybe....
Other diseases:
Best you can do is check out reliable sites. The AUs National Library of Medicine@ is world=s largest medical library (www.nlm.hih.gov). If a site is selling Melatonin, it is not objective.



How much I need and where can I get it:
Most research done is with 0.5 to 5 mg, depending on the illness. For cancer sometimes up to 20 mg can be adviced but as sleeping aid 0.5 can be enough! Toxic levels are not known.
Natural Melatonin is made from the pineal gland of animals, which could be contaminated with a virus and is NOT recommended. Synthetic Melatonin doesnot have this risk. In lot=s of countries you can just get melatonin over-the-counter. Most US websites do not sell to Europe and importing can be illegal in some countries.



 







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