Two Ways To Get Melatonin Without The Sid... - Cure Parkinson's

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Two Ways To Get Melatonin Without The Side Effects That People Have Reported And Also Get Better Sleep

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Melatonin supplementation has shown a multitude of positive health effects for many health issues including PD and a multitude of other health issues. Unfortunately, melatonin production declines with age, steadily reducing the potential health benefits associated with adequate melatonin levels throughout the body.

Okay, so then if we simply take melatonin in supplement form, shouldn't we be okay? Yes and no. Some people are simply not able to tolerate oral melatonin for various reasons while others, such as myself, can tolerate melatonin at even higher dosing than typically used. So how does someone who does not tolerate melatonin well, increase their melatonin levels? First, it should be noted that when melatonin is produced in the body in sufficient amounts to help maintain health, it does not cause the intolerance that some people experience from melatonin supplements and that is important. Everyone tolerates melatonin produced in the body, so natural production in the body seems like a very good way to achieve sufficient melatonin status.

Three important areas where melatonin is produced in the body is in the pineal gland located in the brain, the gut and the mitochondria. In order of level of production, the pineal gland produces the least, the gut is estimated to produce over 400 times the amount produced in the pineal gland and since all cells in the body, except red blood sells, contain mitochondria, the mitochondria are likely the highest producers of melatonin in the body. Each cell in the body can contain varying amounts of mitochondria which can exceed 2000, but the numbers vary greatly depending on many factors such as the tissue examined, antioxidant status, time of day etc., but this gives you an idea of how much melatonin production we are talking about when it comes to mitochondria. Mitochondria can also draw melatonin into the mitochondria if needed, but if it already has sufficiency, then that melatonin can be used elsewhere.

This clearly gives a clue about the importance of melatonin in mitochondria to almost instantaneously neutralize the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) radical that is produced as part of the normal mitochondria function and further elucidates the importance of melatonin to maintain health and life. I will discuss the gut aspect of melatonin later.

In 2019, professor Reiter, a world renowned melatonin researcher for over 40 years with hundreds of studies listed on PubMed in conjunction with Scott Zimmerman did an extensive review of research which showed many interesting things, one of which is that exposure to the near infrared (NIR) light range from the sun helped to improve mitochondria function and also increased mitochondria melatonin production. These are two important things that infrared light therapy is thought to do also. Their review also showed that infrared light, which is not visible to the human eye, can penetrate the skull and can increase pineal melatonin production. It is only a hypothesis on their part, but their ideas are in line with what other researchers have shown in previous studies and similar to the thinking behind man made NIR studies. They have taken some of this individual research and combined it to form a more complete idea of the relation ship of melatonin, NIR, mitochondria and human health.

I would just like to take a moment to recommend reading their full study because it covers a lot of ground and has useful information in it. It is long, but worthwhile reading. One interesting message was that NIR from the sun may penetrate significantly deeper into the brain via the cerebral spinal fluid around the brain interacting with gray matter than is currently thought possible.

In the following study, it is shown that the use of whole body NIR in the form of red light therapy not only increased athlete melatonin serum levels, sleep and sleep quality, but it also improved endurance. So red light therapy is a third option to increase melatonin levels, but NIR from the sun is free and stronger than some red light treatment options which can get quite expensive.

Here is a useful quote from the study above :

>>> ' We have demonstrated that red-light illumination positively affected sleep quality and endurance performance variables in Chinese female basketball players. Based on previous studies,6,12,14,15,33 we can infer that red-light treatment contributes to increased melatonin secretion in the pineal gland and muscle regeneration. ' <<<

So one of two options to increase melatonin levels without the side effects associated with melatonin such as next day drowsiness, vivid dreams or nightmares is to get sun exposure. Artificial NIR red light therapy can also increase melatonin levels, but this option comes at significant cost whereas sun exposure is free! Another consideration is that in the study above, they used whole body NIR exposure. There are many red light therapy devices, and most that cost under $1000 are not going to be whole body applications, but rather partial body applications such as a knee or lower back and potentially weak devices compared to NIR from the sun. When you get into professional grade whole body units, you are generally going to be spending thousands of dollars. The sun is free and gives whole body coverage at no extra charge!

The second way to increase melatonin is natural also. This way involves increasing short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Keep in mind that melatonin production in humans declines with age. Similarly, SCFAs decline with age and have shown in studies to not only increase melatonin levels in the gut, but also melatonin receptors. SCFAs in combination with melatonin and melatonin receptors improve mucosal gut barrier function as well as improve tight junctions as well as epithelial function all contributing to improved gut barrier function and reduced gut permeability as well as reduced gut inflammation and oxidative stress throughout the body. It is worth noting that in cases of many diseases such as PD, the normal age related decline of SCFAs, melatonin and melatonin receptors are further increased, so increasing production of these is a very important step in improving the disease state, but also health in general.

On that note here is a partial list of items that have shown the ability to increase SCFAs or improve the gut microbiome in such a way as to help produce more SCFAs.

1. Vitamin D - also improves gut barrier function

2. Vitamin C - may have synergy with vitamin B2 and also decreases certain pathogenic bacteria

3. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) also improves gut microbiome balance

4. Fish Oil - also noted for its potent anti inflammatory effects

5. N Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) - very well noted as a potent antioxidant and mucolytic

6. Exercise - already established as one of the more healthful things that people can do for improved health and physical function

7. Algal Oil / Algae Oil - similar effects to fish oil via DHA and EPA omega 3's

8. Berberine - anti inflammatory anti oxidative stress, anti diabetic and also noted for improving cognitive function

9. Fasting - in different forms such as intermittent fasting or Ramadan fasting

10. Pistachios - also supplies needed fiber to feed SCFA producing bacteria

11. Probiotics / Synbiotics - also alter the gut microbiome in healthful ways

12 Prebiotics - especially useful for feeding SCFA producing bacteria.

13 Fermented Foods and Beverages

14. Oat Beta Glucan

15. Orange Juice - also offers anti diabetes benefits

16. Fiber in multiple forms including fermentable fiber through multiple forms of fruits and vegetables

17. Mannitol - is also noted by some people as helpful in improving quality of life in PD

18. Xylitol - has also shown usefulness as a low glycemic index sugar substitute

19. Black Tea - but not green tea can increase SCFAs

So as you can see, there are many ways to increase SCFAs as a means to increase melatonin production and melatonin receptors in the gut, improve gut barrier function, reduce leaky gut/gut permeability, reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.

Here you have two simple and effective ways to increase melatonin in the pineal gland, gut and mitochondria to take advantage of melatonin's many positive health effects without the side effects associated with melatonin supplementing. Melatonin naturally produced in the body does not have side effects, only positive health effects. This makes melatonin a viable health improving option for EVERYONE, not just those who can tolerate oral melatonin supplements!

I hope that this article shows how much the body uses melatonin for a multitude of functions in all areas of the body and exactly how mandatory melatonin is for maintaining health and life. This article goes hand in hand with all that I have written about the health benefits of melatonin in people and hopefully it further conveys exactly how needed melatonin is for sustaining our health.

This should be helpful for people who live in areas of the world where melatonin is only available by prescription in very small dosages.

Our bodies have evolved under the sun from the beginning of time and have adapted to make the most of what the sun has to offer and over 50% of what the sun brings to Earth is infrared light. That seems like a very important fact to me.


39 Replies

Well written and super informative as always Art. I'm happy to see I am hitting a bunch of the marks (everything except 3, 7, 10, and 15 [but I have 10 and will have some tomorrow!]). Thanks!

Thank you for saying so, Bolt.

There are more items that could be added to that list, but those are some popular ones.

I haven't read anything to indicate it, but I have a feeling that melatonin made in the body may turn out to be better utilized than supplementing melatonin.

Interesting point Art! Is all melatonin the same? Bio-identical?

On the other hand, what if PWP melatonin is somehow deficient and exogenous melatonin is exactly what is needed? I'm not offering advice. Personally I have paused melatonin as I think it was contributing to my depression (and I know that depression is not really a recognized side effect).

Until we see somebody find the correct combination of protocols and reverse their PD we will be in this loop of trying to sort cause from effect and causation from correlation.

(I have also started thinking in terms of "causation -> correlation -> symptoms" and wondering if the correlation is not the causation, still maybe addressing the correlating situation might prevent the symptoms. Like they do with thyroid supplementation).


Melatonin is melatonin, a distinct molecule. I think the body may handle exogenous melatonin differently, at least in some people, judging by the number of people reporting side effects from oral melatonin, but the body knows exactly what to do with melatonin created within the body in all people!

Melatonin production declines with age and I think in general terms people spend more time indoors as we age, compared to when we were ten years old and spent significantly more time outdoors. Just working indoors all week cuts our sun exposure greatly and when we get out of work there is little sun light left in the day. NIR does not go through glass in any significant amount. There is an inverse relationship between between men who work out doors and the risk of getting PD.

You can not just brush off the relationship between sun exposure and health. We get vitamin D and melatonin from the sun and both have shown benefit in PD and health in general.


Thanks Art! And thanks for keeping up the hammer on getting sun.

I was sure that at 60 your body did not really produce much D3 from the sun, but your post made me check and I WAS WRONG!

Vitamin D Synthesis Following a Single Bout of Sun Exposure in Older and Younger Men and Women 2020

Conclusions: Serum D3 concentration increased significantly in response to outdoor sun exposure in younger and older adults. While ageing may dampen cutaneous synthesis, sunlight exposure is still a significant source of vitamin D3.

A single 30-min bout of sun exposure during late spring at close to solar noon was sufficient to observe an increase in vitamin D3 concentration within 24 to 48 h in a cohort of younger and older adults as has been previously observed in the photobiology laboratory with a measured dose of UVB radiation. The response, however, was ~25 to 30% of that observed with delivery of 1 MED in the photobiology laboratory. This study is one of the first to evaluate and practically apply UVB exposure from natural sunlight to examine the effect of subcutaneous vitamin D3 synthesis in younger and older adults. Regression modeling of the appearance of D3 in circulation suggested that age accounted for approximately 20 percent of the variance in D3 production from baseline to peak and revealed a 13% decrease in D3 production with every decade of life. Increases in serum 25(OH)D, however, were not observed at 3 days post-exposure in our younger cohort or at 7 days postexposure in our older cohort. Additional research is needed to better formulate sensible sun exposure guidelines that optimize vitamin D status but avert skin damage, which can lead to skin cancers and other sun associated problems [54]. Additional research is needed to determine the influence of age on timing of peak D3 concentration, investigate the kinetics of in vivo D3 adipose tissue sequestration to explain the relationship between cutaneous D3 production and 25(OH)D response and better understand the specific limitations of ageing (which potentially include reduced dermal and epidermal thickness) on cutaneous vitamin D production.

"It is only a hypothesis on their part, but their ideas are in line with what other researchers have shown ..."

What do you mean by "in line with"? Do you mean to say the same as "confirmed by," or something else?

chartist profile image
chartist in reply to MarionP

In the review Dr. Reiter did, he referenced studies that they highlighted to add confirmation to their hypothesis. Some aspects of their hypothesis are already confirmed in humans as in one of the studies I linked to below his. So the point of NIR increasing melatonin levels in humans is already proven and that is the point I am making for this post. The other ideas he brought up such as the possibility that NIR from the sun penetrates deeper than is currently thought, is interesting, but I do not believe is proven yet, but that is not part of the intent of my post and why I mentioned that is a hypothesis on their part. I also believe it is part of their future research, based on things that Dr. Reiter mentioned to me previously.


"On that note here is a partial list of items that have shown the ability to increase SCFAs or improve the gut microbiome in such a way as to help produce more SCFAs."

By "have shown," do you mean to say "have shown by oral ingestion"?

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chartist in reply to MarionP

Yes, as regards oral ingestion.


Any suggestions on the best melatonin to buy?

chartist profile image
chartist in reply to MissRita

Based on a report by ConsumerLab, that a forum member showed to me on melatonin supplements, they only found one that was not very close to the amount listed on the label. I do not subscribe to ConsumerLab, nor do I want to. So the majority of supplements seem likely to be adequate. My personal preference in oral melatonin supplements is the dissolvable forms of which there are many and I have no personal favorite.


MissRita profile image
MissRita in reply to chartist


Thank you for sharing such important information in such an accessible way as ever.

chartist profile image
chartist in reply to Annieartist

You are welcome, Annieartist!


Great research, as always.

chartist profile image
chartist in reply to Fumaniron

Thank you.It is thought that the possible reason that men who work outdoors are at decreased risk for PD is because of vitamin D, but given the known effects of melatonin, maybe melatonin is part of the reason why?

Look at this quote from the second study link :

>>> ' Outdoor work was inversely associated with risk of PD (outdoor only compared to indoor only): OR= 0.74, 95% CI 0.44-1.25. However, there was no trend in relation to portion of the workday spent laboring outdoors and PD risk. ' <<<

This seems like an important point.


Fumaniron profile image
Fumaniron in reply to chartist

Good info. I imagine working on a golf course or by other areas with regularly applied pesticides would negatively skew that data

chartist profile image
chartist in reply to Fumaniron

I took that quote to mean, the length of time spent working outdoors daily was not the significant factor, the significant factor was working outdoors.

Pesticides and poisons would be a definite factor as would be rate of exposure, but in the poison animal models of PD, melatonin has still shown that it can ameliorate some of those toxic effects. Given that information, I would avoid poisons and seek sun exposure in moderate amounts to naturally increase my melatonin and vitamin d levels, preferably daily.


Fumaniron profile image
Fumaniron in reply to chartist

Couldn’t have wait better myself

chartist profile image
chartist in reply to Fumaniron

The sun seems to be waiting for us just outside to energize us with just what we need for better health. In professor Reiter's review, he mentioned that each day in the sun our antioxidant stores are built up to be used throughout the day to neutralize the constant exposure to free radicals of all types. No wonder people feel better after a day of sun at the beach. You're getting your vitamin D, melatonin and the earthing/grounding effect of laying in the sand which is all thought to neutralize free radicals. Magnesium is absorbed from the ocean water and should be quite relaxing.


Thank you for your thorough research. You are incredibly helpful . For those of us experiencing winter weather is it still sensible to expose even a little skin to the sun before seeking indoor warmth?

chartist profile image
chartist in reply to Lionore

Hi Lionore,

If the outside temp is tolerable some exposure is better than no exposure. Unfortunately, sitting in front of a window is ineffective because the glass does not let NIR enter in any significant amount if at all. I would think that tanning salons would do well to offer whole body NIR treatments for year around use for people who work indoors or spend most of their time indoors. According to at least one study there is an inverse risk of getting PD for people who work outdoors and the length of time worked outdoors during the day does not seem to matter, suggesting that what ever protection is offered is received fairly quickly.


What a practical high-value post. Thank you, Art. I appreciate the depth of time and effort you put in for our benefit. Then you top it off with your clear actionable writing. PS: I’m heading outside now!

That was very nice of you to say, M-M!

I think it is relevant that I mention that I have been taking 120 mg+ of melatonin per night for months, and while it has improved my sleep, my experiment with spending 20 to 35 minutes in the sun at this time of the year(winter) has definitely been additive in terms of sleep improvement! This would be similar to the effect that was reported in the female basketball players who received whole body NIR treatments and got increased sleep, sleep quality and endurance from that short study. I noticed the difference the second night after starting the sun exposure.

On my morning two mile brisk walk, I generally start to feel a little fatigue in my leg muscles around 3/4 of a mile and again around 1 1/4 ~ 1 1/2 miles associated with terrain inclines, but in the past two walks, not so noticeable. I'm not putting that much relevance into that though, because it is very subjective, but I will take it and see if that effect persists when I push myself beyond my normal limits of speed in future walks. That will be easy to do as I have timed my walks enough to know exactly where my limits are in terms of endurance.


That’s an encouraging report, Art. I’m inspired.

Winter where I live (Hawaii) means less sun and more rain, but still, I’ve been way too reliant on my infrared light therapy panel; my aim is to be more intentional about spending time in the natural sunlight. No excuses!


I look at it in terms of we have evolved under the sun from the beginning of life and so our bodies have learned to make the most of what the sun sends to earth which includes a broad spectrum of NIR, ultraviolet light and visible light. Given that NIR is the largest part of that spectrum, I think the body will have adapted to that broad spectrum that goes well beyond what man made NIR products deliver which are often limited to just two very specific NIR frequencies. Not that those two frequencies are not effective for what they are used for, but I highly doubt that the myriad of other NIR frequencies are worthless.

It may be a mistake to spend more and more time indoors as we age.


chartist profile image
chartist in reply to MBAnderson


He said it was new information and never heard before about melatonin, but I could have done that video for him! Most people have no clue about the value of melatonin nor about the age related decline of melatonin in the body and how that decline impacts our health so negatively. It's the same for animals and plant life. Melatonin does a body good!


MBAnderson profile image
MBAnderson in reply to chartist


New to him, apparently.

No doubt, you could.

You are a one man band correcting the lack of knowledge of melatonin.

Please keep it up.


Hello Art, I was diagnosed with PD in 2016 and insomnia is a very debilitating side effect. I am a farmer in tropical Australia and probably get my fair share of exposure to sunlight. If I take Melatonin for Insomnia it has the opposite effect and keeps me awake all night. From your studies do you have an explanation for this? I am desperate.

chartist profile image
chartist in reply to ccr69

Unfortunately, sleep issues are very common in PD.

The effects of melatonin for sleep varies considerably from person to person. Most studies show oral melatonin at 2 mg /night as useful for sleep, but my personal experience is that it does not work in everyone and you are the second person who has told me that it has an opposite effect of keeping you awake. I've never seen a study that confirms that melatonin can keep you awake, but apparently it does in some people.

As far as trying to get to sleep, a magnesium supplement that combines these three forms of magnesium has helped some people on this forum with sleep issues :

Adding zinc to that has shown synergy as does adding valerian extract. There are other natural remedies, but it will come down to trial and error to see if any are useful for you.

Medical Marijuana can help get you to sleep, but like alcohol it diminishes REM sleep which is not good or healthful. When the natural remedies are not enough, you may have to go with prescription meds to get to sleep and I think there are quite a few members on this forum who use prescription sleep aids who maybe able to help you in that area.

Natural things you can do to help is get out in the morning sun for half an hour everyday to try and get your internal clock in sync. Use no tv, computer or bright lights 2 hours before bed to further sync your internal clock. Wear soft fabric blackout glasses when you go to bed. In some cases soft ear plugs have helped. Deep breathing, using the 478 deep breathing method can help to relax certain muscle groups that may be tense and keeping you awake. Stay as busy as possible during the day and exercise at least a little daily.


ccr69 profile image
ccr69 in reply to chartist

Thank you, for getting back to me so soon , I guess I will just have to try some of your suggestions. One of the reasons I can't take the stronger sleeping medications is because I have sleep Aponea.

chartist profile image
chartist in reply to ccr69

If you are using a c-pap for the sleep apnea, newer machines are quieter than the older c-pap machines and the extra quiet may help with getting to sleep. If you carry a lot of muscle tension in your shoulders chest and neck, magnesium chloride oil / mag oil applied topically may help to loosen those muscle groups to help with sleep also. Getting the morning sun is important though .


ccr69 profile image
ccr69 in reply to ccr69

Hello Art, I must bring you up to the moment with my sleep issues. I purchased a natural conction called "Deep Sleep Mode" sold in Australia by people who trade as Happy Mammoth. The promise in their advertising is that if you take four capsules a day for nine days you will get over your Insomnia and be able to get a good night's sleep. Like Melatonin it did just the opposite for me. I was only getting 3-4 hours skeep each night for seven nights while taking it, and I was so exhausted by yesterday that I just had to stop taking it. Last night I went back to my normal regime of taking Endep 25mg, Potassium Phosphate 14.8mg, Magnesium Phosphate 13.4 mg, Zinc 30 mg and a ProBiotic. In spite of having to get up three times to go to the loo, I was able to sleep until 5.30 am this morning. That is a fairly good night's sleep for me because on the farm we start early in summer to beat the heat later in the day.

I took your advice and ordered the Magnesium you suggested from Amazon. I will take it instead of the Mg I am currently taking once it arrives. Do you think the 30mg of Zn is about right?


chartist profile image
chartist in reply to ccr69

Glad you were able to get some sleep. In the following study they used 11.25 mg of zinc so 30mg should be more than enough.

Your sleep problem sounds considerable. Perhaps it is out of the reach of supplements, but the magnesium and zinc are considered useful supplements to help maintain health anyway, so possibly worth the effort. Thank you for the update.


My HWP legs RLS got so much worse on 6mg time released of MEL. Bummer, will try some of the nutritional suggestions like tart cherries. I also bought liquid MEL bc you can microdose and build up very slowly. Keep up the good work.

chartist profile image
chartist in reply to Sydney75

Yes, avoiding those side effects is what this post is about .Pistachios are said to have a very significant amount of melatonin. Most foods only have tiny amounts, but plant life do get good benefits from melatonin themselves and so they pass it on in small amounts when eaten.

I think there are 3 human studies now showing that melatonin is very effective at alleviating Covid-19 symptoms and reducing death from it, which is in line with doctor Neel's experience in about 2,000 patients so far. Like other Covid-19 treatments, early treatment is most effective.


I had been on C/L 10-100 mg, 4 tablets a day (2 @ am, 1 @ noon and 1 @ 6 pm) by my medical doctor for three years, per his diagnose of PD. I felt like my symptoms were getting worse so I asked for a referral to a neurologist. So I went to a neuro and told her of my history with the PD tremors and that my father had Essential Tremors (later died of sucide), I told the MD about my father, yet he said I had PD. Anyway my neuro believes I have ET and not PD. She has scheduled a Datscan for 1-20-22, and she had me to start tampering off the C/L and I have been off completely for a month. I feel much better and fewer tremors. Anyway, I always had trouble sleeping while taking the C/L so I had read that tart cherry juice had melatonin in it and it helped with my sleep. I sleep so much better now since I am off the C/L and drink the tart cherry juice, cut with a little water. I was wondering after all of my above count of my health history of your thoughts on the tart cherry juice! I am so ready to get my Datscan, and get on the correct medicine if needed. Sorry, if I rambled to much! Thanks for reading and looking forward to your reply!

Yes, tart cherry juice does have a very small amount of melatonin in it. In studies, 1/3rd mg of melatonin has shown to be more beneficial for sleep than 3 mg.

Here is a link to a 300 mcg melatonin that is very close to the dose used for sleep in the study link above :


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