Melatonin gummies have become a popular sleep aid for many individuals struggling to get a good night’s rest. However, a recent study conducted by Cambridge Health Alliance and the University of Mississippi researchers reveals that these chewy supplements may not what they claim to be.
The study tested 25 different melatonin supplements and found that the majority contained 20%, 30% or 50% more melatonin than what was listed on the label.
In one case, the product contained almost 2.5 times more melatonin than stated on the label.
Furthermore, four products tested had less melatonin than advertised, with one having no detectable amount of the hormone.
Overall, 22 of the 25 products tested were inaccurately labeled, defined as having more than 10 percent above or below the amount listed on the label.
The study also discovered that five of the melatonin supplements tested contained cannabidiol (CBD), which had slightly higher levels than the label indicated.
A spokesman for the dietary supplement industry said consumers should not be alarmed and that adding more to the product dosage is standard practice. He states that supplement companies must have “at least 100 percent of labeled dosage” in their products to sell them.
“It’s not uncommon for companies to put in a little extra. So, for instance, a melatonin product that’s labeled as 3 milligrams might put in 4 milligrams.” Steve Mister, the president and chief executive of the Council for Responsible Nutrition says.
However, the researchers behind the study urge caution when using these supplements based on the findings, especially when it comes to giving them to kids.
“We need to take a step back and rethink the narrative about melatonin,” says Pieter Cohen, lead author of the study and general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance. “It’s a drug. It’s a hormone. And just like other drugs — just like every single drug that exists — it’s all about dosages.”