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Evidence summary [ESUOM2] Published date: 04 January 2013. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone produced by the brain. It is involved in regulating a person's body clock and helping to regulate sleep patterns.

Just 1 melatonin product, called Circadin, is licensed for use in the UK. It can only be obtained with a prescription and comes in the form of a 'prolonged-release' tablet. Prolonged-release means that the drug treatment continues working over a number of hours as the active ingredient is released slowly in the body. This tablet is licensed for treating sleep disorders over a short period of time in adults who are aged 55 or over. It is not licensed for use in any other age group, and so using prolonged-release melatonin in children and young people under 18 is described as 'off-label'. Other melatonin products, some in the form of 'immediate-release' capsules, tablets or liquids, are available from specialist suppliers and on the internet. These are not licensed for use in any patient group in the UK and so are known as 'unlicensed'. The main treatments available for children and young people with sleep disorders are non-drug treatments, including good 'sleep hygiene'.

Good sleep hygiene includes day-to-day things that can be done at home to help children and young people sleep. This includes advice such as having fixed times for going to bed, avoiding exercise and eating a heavy meal near bedtime, keeping the bedroom comfortable and relaxing near bedtime. Visit our Online Doctor for a confidential private GP consultation. Pharmacy2U are unable to prescribe this item through the Online Doctor service. For the options below, you will be required to post your paper prescription, (what is this) issued by your doctor to us, before we send you any medication. You will be required to post your paper prescription, (what is this) issued by your doctor to us, before we send you any medication. Consumers are showing growing interest in adaptogens, fueled by the positive press and desirable functional claims these ingredients afford. Adaptogenic herbs and ingredients are often an integral part of folk medicine, giving them a wellness “halo” that entices natural products buyers. As a reminder, adaptogens are defined as “non-toxic plants that are marketed as helping the body resist stressors of all kinds, whether physical, chemical or biological.” 1. Today, scientific research is catching up to ancient tradition and giving adaptogen consumers another reason to give serious consideration to adaptogens. As more studies emerge, brands that invest in scientifically proven adaptogens can appeal to consumers on both the folk medicine and the backed-by-science fronts. Here are some of the adaptogenic herbs that are on the rise. South American Ingredients for Energy and Relaxation. Ramon Luna, marketing coordinator at botanicals supplier Ecuadorian Rainforest (Clifton, NJ), says that two South American adaptogens are emerging that serve opposing purposes. Whether consumers are looking for a pick-me-up or a sleep aid, there’s an adaptogen for that. Guayusa (Ilex guayusa) and chanca piedra (Phyllanthus niruri) are two ingredients native to the Amazon Rainforest that have a history of traditional use as an energy-booster and a relaxant, respectively. “Guayusa may be South America’s most well-known ingredient,” Luna says. “It’s considered the continent’s equivalent to green tea. The plant contains L-theanine, which promotes relaxation.” Chanca piedra also promotes relaxation, Luna notes, but without the caffeine. Luna says that this botanical is used in traditional South American medicine as a hypertension remedy. Before chanca piedra can appeal to a North American or European audience, though, Luna cautions that more studies are needed to clarify its efficacy. One of the best-validated adaptogens on the market is ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). This Ayurvedic herb is on the verge of entering the mainstream North American market, building on the strength of its long history as a folk remedy with new clinical trials.

Bruce Brown, president of ashwagandha supplier Natreon (New Brunswick, NJ), says that ashwagandha has been the subject of numerous clinical studies that have proven its efficacy as an adaptogen. One such study, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on Natreon’s Sensoril-brand ashwagandha, examined the effects of ashwagandha supplementation on strength training performance in 38 active men between the ages of 18 and 45. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 500 mg of Sensoril per day (n=19) or a matching placebo (n=19). The participants were assessed on body composition, muscle strength, power, endurance, and blood chemistry at baseline and after 12 weeks of resistance training. The study found that ashwagandha administration caused a 21% improvement in cycling time trial scores, as well as improvements in average squat power and peak bench press power, relative to placebo. Brown says that ashwagandha’s effects are the result of several bioactive ingredients: “Recent research into a combination of ashwagandha leaves and roots unique to Sensoril has shown that Sensoril enhances focus, reduces everyday stress, and supports a healthy immune response. As tradition holds, combining both ashwagandha leaves and roots provides a full-spectrum extract [like the one] traditionally used in Ayurveda.” Shilajit Extract Maintains Muscle Strength. One herbal resin found in the Himalayas has a lengthy history in traditional Indian medicine as an antiaging compound. Now, clinical research is validating its use as a strength enhancer.

A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving Natreon’s PrimaVie-brand shilajit followed 63 active men for eight weeks. Participants were supplemented with either 250 mg (n=21) or 500 mg (n=21) of PrimaVie, or a matching placebo (n=21), per day.


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