Wide Variation Found for Amount of Melatonin in Supplements

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Wide Variation Found for Amount of Melatonin in Supplements
Wide Variation Found for Amount of Melatonin in Supplements

THURSDAY, March 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Many over-the-counter melatonin products are inaccurately labeled, according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

The 31 melatonin supplements tested were purchased at Canadian grocery stores and pharmacies. The supplements represented 16 brands in capsule, tablet, and liquid forms. All were subject to analysis by ultraperformance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection for quantification of melatonin and serotonin.

The team found that in 71 percent of tested products the contents didn't fall within 10 percent of the breakdown claimed on the label. Melatonin content varied from 83 percent less than claimed on the label to 478 percent more, the investigators found. Samples taken from different lots of the same brand of supplement were found to vary as much as 465 percent. Eight of 31 melatonin supplements (26 percent) contained significant quantities of serotonin.

"These results emphasize the need for further research to determine the best manufacturing procedures and mechanisms to monitor melatonin content in the products to ensure consistency and safety of the supplements," the authors write.

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