CBD Oil And Magnesium For Sleep

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Will CBD interact with my magnesium supplements? We’ll explain the similarities between both and talk about the possible effects of their interaction. Magnesium is a mineral naturally present in a variety of foods, available as a supplement, and an ingredient in antacids & laxatives. Learn more. BEST supplements for sleep: Difficulty falling asleep affects most of us at some time, but are there certain vitamins, minerals or nutrients we can add to our diet ensure we get a peaceful forty winks?

Does CBD Interact With Magnesium?

Information on risks & possible interactions between CBD & magnesium.

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Cannabidiol or CBD is used in treating various conditions, including pain and inflammation. It’s been deemed safe for most illnesses.

Magnesium is a mineral supplement used for treating migraines, blood pressure, etc. It’s an essential mineral in the body.

Since both work very differently, there’s very little chance of these supplements interacting with each other. To date, there are no reported complaints about the effects of the interaction between CBD and magnesium.

Table of Contents

Does CBD Interact With Magnesium?

No, there have not been any documented reports about the side effects caused by taking both CBD and magnesium.

Magnesium may slow the absorption of CBD in the digestive tract, thus making it less effective.

To avoid this potential interaction, take magnesium supplements one or two hours apart from CBD supplements.

Is CBD a Viable Alternative to Magnesium?

CBD and magnesium are entirely different supplements. Magnesium is an essential mineral used in well over 300 enzymatic processes in the human body. CBD is a cannabinoid obtained from hemp that interacts with the endocannabinoid system.

You cannot use CBD as an alternative to magnesium for most applications.

However, CBD helps treat certain medical conditions that magnesium is used to treat.

If the cause of the condition is a magnesium deficiency, CBD will offer little benefit. But if the reason is something else, CBD may significantly help these conditions more than magnesium.

For this reason, it’s better to take both supplements for a more holistic effect than either one individually. Just make sure to separate the doses by about two hours to enable maximum absorption of both supplements.

Magnesium and CBD are commonly used for the following conditions:

1. Migraine Headaches

Magnesium is one of the most common supplements used for migraine headaches. Many people with migraines are deficient in magnesium; supplying supplemental magnesium can lower migraine headaches in patients [1].

CBD has also been proven effective for migraine sufferers and other forms of headaches, including hangovers and cluster headaches [2].

While it’s unlikely that CBD will reverse or prevent migraines directly, it may reduce the severity and duration and alleviate concomitant issues like vision disturbances, insomnia, and nausea or vomiting.

2. Depression & Anxiety

Magnesium levels are low in patients with major depression, so supplementing with it can lower the symptoms and help elevate mood in depressive patients [3].

CBD can work on the 5-HT1A neuro-receptors in the brain and works as an anxiolytic and antidepressant [4].

3. Cardiovascular Diseases

A study about CBD showed that it might help reduce oxidative stress and reduce cardiac dysfunction [6]. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also help lower the risk of cardiac diseases.

4. Insomnia

Magnesium can help improve insomnia symptoms due to it regulating the neurotransmitters directly related to the brain [7].

CBD may improve sleep and be more tolerated than routine sleep medications [8].

5. Type II Diabetes

Magnesium plays a vital role in controlling the breakdown of sugar in the body. Having a good amount of magnesium in the diet may help prevent the development of type II diabetes [9].

CBD can offer metabolic support through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system [10]. The ECS is intimately involved with liver and pancreas health — both of which play a key role in the pathophysiology of diabetes.

6. Bone Health

A lack of magnesium in the body can further lead to osteoporosis in the body [11]. To prevent this, supplementing with magnesium is necessary. It’s one of the most commonly recommended supplements for menopausal women for this reason.

CBD can offer improvements towards bone health through its role in regulating the endocannabinoid system [12].

7. Seizures & Epilepsy

Magnesium sulfate, a compound containing magnesium, has been used in treating seizures caused by conditions of pregnancy like eclampsia [13]. It’s a common supplement in magnesium deficiency.

CBD-based medications, including Sativex and Epidiolex, are approved to treat multiple types of seizure disorders [14].

What Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential macromineral obtained from different kinds of foods, supplements, and medications. It’s taken in conditions such as magnesium deficiency, heartburn, constipation, arrhythmias called Torsades de Pointes, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, and more.

This mineral is a cofactor in more than 300 separate enzymatic reactions within the body. These reactions range from cellular replication to liver metabolism — and everything in between.

Magnesium plays the role of helping with the functioning of the muscles and nerves, controlling blood pressure, helping the immune system, bone formation, and so much more.

Magnesium Specs:

Names Magnesium, magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate, magnesium carbonate, magnesium chloride, magnesium citrate, magnesium malate, magnesium sulfate
Classification Essential Macromineral
Metabolism Kidney, intestines
Interaction with CBD Unknown, but likely no interaction
Risk of Interaction Unknown, but likely low

What Does Magnesium Do?

Magnesium is an essential cofactor needed in the operation of several bodily functions. It’s distributed between the bone, skeletal muscle, soft tissue, and extracellular fluids. The body regulates it through an interplay between intestinal absorption, absorption by the bone, and renal absorption or excretion.

Magnesium helps in ion transport and keeps the balance across cellular membranes. It competes in the calcium channels, affecting the uptake and release of calcium, and controls its metabolism.

It can stop the contraction caused by calcium in the smooth muscles and acetylcholine’s actions on the nerve and muscle junctions. This leads to the relaxing of the smooth muscles, which then helps to reduce spasms.

Magnesium assists more than 300 enzymes in carrying out different reactions in the body. It also acts as a cofactor for enzymatic actions in various activities. It helps build proteins, regulate blood sugar, build bones, control blood pressure and maintain muscle and nerve health.

It can help control the actions of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors, the ones needed for memory forming and learning. An excess action of glutamate in the brain can cause seizures, anxiety, and depression. It blocks the action of glutamate in the NMDA receptors; thus, it may prevent or treat depression.

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The deficiency of magnesium in the diet can cause several symptoms, such as numbness, tingling, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

Magnesium is used to treat migraines, acute nephritis, cardiac arrhythmias due to hypomagnesemia, seizures caused by eclampsia, as a laxative for constipation, and antacid for heartburn.

Side Effects of Magnesium

  • Facial flushing
  • Stomach upset
  • Tingling sensation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Muscle depression

Types of Drug Interactions With CBD

Several studies have shown the efficacy of CBD in the treatment of many different diseases.

These effects happen due to the chemical nature of these medications. Thus taking other drugs with CBD must be supervised carefully as any interaction could lead to complications of various kinds.

There are three ways that CBD can interact with other drugs, including:

1. Agonistic Interaction

This interaction means that two medicines both show the same effect in the body. When consumed together, these medications may act on the same or different receptors. But they show effects in the same direction.

The medications that could bring about agonistic interaction on taking with CBD are:

  • Antihypertensive Medications — These include ACE inhibitors, alpha-blockers, angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, central agonists, and diuretics. CBD can react with these causing a drop in blood pressure, dizziness, and fainting.
  • Anti-anxiety medications — These include common prescriptions like benzodiazepines and barbiturates. CBD could make the effects of these medications last longer than normal.
  • Antidiabetic medications — These include GLP-1 receptor agonists, meglitinides, SGLT-2 inhibitors, sulfonylureas, and insulin, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, biguanides, DPP-4 inhibitors.

2. Antagonistic Interaction

This is the opposite of the agonistic interaction. Antagonistic interaction happens when two drugs have effects opposite of each other. If taken together, one drug would invalidate the effects of the other, leading to a decrease in its efficacy.

Drugs that have antagonistic interaction with CBD are:

  • Stimulants — These include amphetamine, modafinil. CBD can negate the effects of these drugs.
  • Immunomodulators — These include antihistamines like carbinoxamine, desloratadine, levocetirizine. The sedative action of CBD could worsen the side effects of immunomodulators.
  • Immunosuppressants — These include azathioprine, mycophenolate cyclosporine, methotrexate, etc. CBD’s immune-stimulating properties may negate the effects of immunosuppressants.
  • Asthma Medications — These include drugs like albuterol, fluticasone, montelukast, ipratropium bromide, theophylline. CBD may counteract the actions of these medications and can speed up theophylline’s excretion from the body.

3. Metabolic Inhibition

Some medications need similar enzymes to break down the drug molecules. It leads to both drugs competing against each other. It then causes a slowdown in the metabolism rate for both of them.

These include medications like:

  • Blood Thinners — CBD could lead to an increase in the action of warfarin, enoxaparin, heparin, and others that could be potentially dangerous.
  • NSAIDs — These include ibuprofen, naproxen, high-dose aspirin. CBD could cause these drugs to last longer in the bloodstream.
  • Opiate Analgesics — These include morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone. CBD could compete with these in the liver leading to a chance of overdose.
  • Antidepressants —These include trazodone, mirtazapine, vortioxetine, and vilazodone, and others. CBD could slow down their metabolism and lead to the buildup of these drugs in the body.

Key Takeaways: Is It Safe to Take Magnesium With CBD?

Magnesium and CBD work differently and, theoretically, should have minimal to no interactions between them.

However, there’s no reported documentation of the side effects by users who have used them together, and there is a lack of proper clinical trials and studies.

If you take regular magnesium supplements to treat a specific medical disorder, you should speak with your doctor before taking CBD.

If you’re using magnesium supplements as a general health-promoting supplement, there’s little to no risk of taking CBD alongside it. However, it’s best to take both supplements about two hours apart to ensure maximum absorption of both substances.

If you feel any adverse side effects after taking CBD and magnesium, stop taking them immediately. If symptoms persist, visit your physician.

CBD Oil and Magnesium – August 2022

Magnesium is a mineral naturally present in a variety of foods, available as a supplement, and an ingredient in antacids and laxatives (1) .

Magnesium is essential in assisting more than 300 enzymes to carry out various chemical reactions in the body, such as building proteins and healthy bones and regulating blood sugar, blood pressure , and muscle and nerve functions. Without enough magnesium, these areas malfunction.

More than half of the magnesium in the body is stored in bones, while some are in various tissues.

Can CBD Be Taken With Magnesium?

There is no data available on the adverse effects that may result from an interaction between CBD and magnesium. Neither is there a study that says the two substances may be safely taken together.

For these reasons, one should consult with a medical professional before supplementing with both CBD and magnesium and taking them together.

CBD can interact with other compounds that, like itself, are metabolized (broken down) in the body by cytochrome P450 enzymes. Primarily found in liver cells, cytochrome P450 enzymes account for 70% to 80% of enzymes involved in drug metabolism (2) .

These enzymes break down external substances, such as medications that are ingested, and internal substances, such as toxins, that are formed within cells.

Meanwhile, results of a randomized clinical trial showed that magnesium supplementation does not affect liver enzymes in patients with a fatty liver (3) .

Can CBD Replace Magnesium?

No study explicitly says CBD can be used in place of magnesium. However, a close look at the main health benefits of magnesium reveals this mineral possesses characteristics comparable to those of CBD.

Listed below are some areas where magnesium and CBD share the same therapeutic benefits.

Population studies have noted an association of greater bone mineral density in men and women with higher magnesium diets (4) .

Similarly, CBD promotes bone health. The effect of CBD on bones was demonstrated by a 2015 study that investigated the properties of cannabidiol concerning bone-related conditions. Data showed that that CBD led to an improvement in fracture healing (5) .

Magnesium is often prescribed as an adjunct treatment for migraine headaches. Clinical studies have reported low magnesium levels in people suffering from this condition (6) .

Meanwhile, CBD’s antiemetic properties, which prevent nausea and vomiting, are incredibly helpful.

A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology revealed the antiemetic effects of cannabinoids in response to a toxic challenge.

CBD, the primary non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, was shown to suppress nausea and vomiting within a limited dose range (7) .

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A 2014 review from the European Journal of Pharmacology established the potential of cannabinoids to limit or prevent nausea and vomiting from a wide range of causes (8) .

Magnesium helps with neurological pathways that, when not functioning correctly, are known to lead to mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Several studies have linked lower magnesium levels with increased depression (9) .

Similarly, a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that CBD decreases anxiety levels in individuals with a social anxiety disorder (SAD).

Results indicated that, relative to placebo, CBD was associated with significantly decreased subjective anxiety (10) .

In another study, results showed that CBD could induce rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhance neurotransmission (11) . Neurotransmission is the process of communication between nerve cells.

  • Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD)

Studies have shown that increased magnesium intakes or high blood levels of magnesium are linked to a lower risk of stroke and deaths from heart disease.

However, it is difficult to separate other nutrients in these same foods that are protective against CVD (12) .

Meanwhile, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that CBD might help attenuate oxidative stress, as well as cardiac dysfunction, fibrosis, and cell death (13) .

In a 2015 study conducted by researchers from the University of Nottingham Royal Derby Hospital in the UK, CBD was shown to be a potent vascular relaxant to human arteries, suggesting its potential benefits to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow (14)

Magnesium helps enzymes that control blood sugar and insulin activity. Prospective studies show an association of diets low in magnesium with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (15) .

In comparison, the results of a study in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism suggested that the stimulus of cannabinoid receptors CB-1 in the islet (cluster) cells within the pancreas might be linked to insulin production (16) .

In another 2016 study , researchers from the University of Nottingham found that when CBD was used in conjunction with cannabis compound THCV, it helped increase insulin production and lower blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes (17) .

Conclusion

Magnesium and CBD possess similar therapeutic benefits. However, they work in immensely different ways and no study explicitly says CBD can be used in place of magnesium.

Moreover, there is no data available on the adverse effects that may result from an interaction between CBD and magnesium. Neither is there a study that says the two substances may be safely taken together.

For these reasons, one should consult with a medical professional before supplementing with both CBD and magnesium and taking them together.

  1. Harvard TH Chan. Magnesium. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/magnesium/
  2. NIH Genetics Home Reference. (2020, March 17). Cytochrome p450. Retrieved from https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/genefamily/cytochromep450
  3. Karandish M, Tamimi M, Shayesteh AA, Haghighizadeh MH, Jalali MT. The effect of magnesium supplementation and weight loss on liver enzymes in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. J Res Med Sci. 2013;18(7):573–579.
  4. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/. Accessed 9/2/2019.
  5. Kogan NM, Melamed E, Wasserman E, et al. Cannabidiol, a Major Non-Psychotropic Cannabis Constituent Enhances Fracture Healing and Stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase Activity in Osteoblasts. J Bone Miner Res. 2015;30(10):1905–1913. DOI:10.1002/jbmr.2513.
  6. Gröber U, Schmidt J, Kisters K. Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients. 2015 Sep 23;7(9):8199-226.
  7. Parker LA, Rock EM, Limebeer CL. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1411–1422. DOIi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01176.x.
  8. Sharkey KA, Darmani NA, Parker LA. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system. Eur J Pharmacol. 2014;722:134–146. DOI:10.1016/j.ejphar.2013.09.068.
  9. Tarleton EK, Littenberg B. Magnesium intake and depression in adults. J Am Board Fam Med. 2015 Mar-Apr;28(2):249-56; Kirkland AE, Sarlo GL, Holton KF. The Role of Magnesium in Neurological Disorders. Nutrients. 2018 Jun 6;10(6).
  10. Crippa JA et al.Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report.J Psychopharmacol. 2011 Jan;25(1):121-30. DOIi: 10.1177/0269881110379283. Epub 2010 Sep 9. DOI: 10.1177/0269881110379283.
  11. Linge R et al. Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors. Neuropharmacology. 2016 Apr;103:16-26. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.12.017. Epub 2015 Dec 19.DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.12.017.
  12. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/. Accessed 9/2/2019.
  13. Rajesh M, Mukhopadhyay P, Bátkai S, et al. Cannabidiol attenuates cardiac dysfunction, oxidative stress, fibrosis, and inflammatory and cell death signaling pathways in diabetic cardiomyopathy. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2010;56(25):2115–2125. DOIi:10.1016/j.jacc.2010.07.033.
  14. .Stanley CP, Hind WH, Tufarelli C, O’Sullivan SE. Cannabidiol causes endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation of human mesenteric arteries via CB1 activation. Cardiovasc Res. 2015;107(4):568–578. DOIi:10.1093/cvr/cvv179.
  15. Gröber U, Schmidt J, Kisters K. Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients. 2015 Sep 23;7(9):8199-226.
  16. Jourdan T, Godlewski G, Kunos G. Endocannabinoid regulation of β-cell functions: implications for glycaemic control and diabetes. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2016;18(6):549–557. DOI:10.1111/dom.12646.
  17. Jadoon K et al. Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Pilot Study. Diabetes Care Oct 2016, 39 (10) 1777-1786; DOI: 10.2337/dc16-0650.

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Best supplements for sleep: Six natural remedies to ensure a good night’s rest

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Sleep problems often occur during periods of street when anxiety makes it difficult to relax.

But not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to a person’s health.

Making changes to your sleep environment is often recommended, such as making sure the room you sleep in is cool, quiet and dark.

But some experts say supplements can help assist uninterrupted sleep. Dr Sarah Brewer recommends six supplements for you to try.

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Some experts say supplements can help assist uninterrupted sleep

CBD oil

CBD (cannabidiol) oil is Dr Brewer’s own sleep-promoting supplement of choice.

She said: “CBD is a natural extract from industrial hemp plants which is relaxing, lifts mood and generates feelings of wellbeing.

“CBD enhances the effects of brain chemicals such as serotonin and anandamide, and helps you achieve a good night’s sleep by reducing muscle tension, reducing restlessness and anxiety, and by supporting a normal pattern of REM sleep. It also reduces the perception of pain and may help if aches and pains are keeping you awake.

“Ever since I started taking a capsule at night I’ve slept really deeply and woken feeling refreshed. While some people experience vivid dreams when taking CBD, I now sleep so heavily that I rarely recall my dreams.”

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But she notes: “If you have a health condition or are taking any prescribed or over-the-counter medicines, always check with your doctor or a pharmacist before taking CBD, as it interacts with enzymes involved in metabolising some medicines. Many doctors and pharmacists feel unable to advise on this, however.

“The best Drug Interaction checker I have found is on Drugs.com, which includes most herbs, supplements and prescribed medicines. While it does not specifically include CBD it does include cannabis (which as well as containing CBD also includes the legally-regulated, psychoactive ingredient, THC).”

Best supplements for sleep: Six natural remedies could ensure a good night’s rest (Image: GETTY)

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is involved in the synthesis of melatonin hormone, which helps to program your sleep-wake cycle, says Dr Brewer. She added: “Magnesium also has a relaxing effect on muscles and helps to prevent restless legs – an annoying jerking of the lower limbs which can stop you from drifting off. A study involving 46 older people with sleep problems showed that taking 500 mg magnesium a day for eight weeks significantly improved melatonin levels, sleep time and reduced early morning waking compared with placebo. It helped those taking magnesium gain an extra 18 minutes of sleep (7.9 hours versus 7.6 hours).

“When taken by mouth, magnesium supplement can have a laxative effect at doses above 400mg per day which is not always a bad thing – taking a magnesium supplement at night helps to promote regularity next morning. I take Healthspan Opti-Magnesium (which I helped to formulate) which is less likely to produce this effect, and can easily be taken in a half dose. Other options include absorbing magnesium through the skin (eg BetterYou magnesium Oil Spray) or have a relaxing bath containing magnesium salts.”

Valerian

Valerian is a traditional herbal remedy that both reduces anxiety and improves sleep quality, and it appears to have a similar effect to a calming brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Dr Brewer said: “This reduces anxiety and restlessness, and induces calm so you achieve a deeper level of sleep more quickly. Valerian is also helpful for women whose sleep disturbance is linked with the menopause. A large analysis of data from 18 studies, involving over 1,300 people with sleep difficulties found that valerian significantly improved sleep quality by 37 per cent compared with inactive placebo.

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“When valerian was compared with the prescribed tranquiliser, oxazepam, it was at least as effective for increasing sleep quality, duration of sleep, dream recall, waking feeling refreshed and reducing evening exhaustion. Valerian was less likely to cause side effects, however and, unlike oxazepam, does not have any potential for addiction.

“The combination of valerian and hops has a synergistic sedative effect, and in one study allowed participants spend a significant longer periods asleep, including longer periods in refreshing deep sleep after a single dose eg A.Vogel Dormeasan Valerian-Hops Sleep Remedy which is available in the form of a tincture. It tastes bitter, so mix with fruit juice. My other half swears by Dormeasan and takes it every night.

“Valerian is also available combined with Passion Flower in Schwabe Pharma’s Bonuit Sleep Aid, which is an herbal medicine licensed for the relief of sleep disturbances due to mild anxiety.”

Lavender oil

Lavender is well-known for its sedative effect and is often used in pillows and as an aromatherapy oil to improve sleep quality. Dr Brewer said: “Lavender oil capsules are now also licensed as a traditional herbal medicine to relieved symptoms of mild anxiety, such as stress and nervousness, which can interfere with sleep. For safe oral use, the oil must come from the flowers of one particular species of lavender and be prepared to pharmaceutical standards (eg Kalms Lavender One-A-Day).

“Lavender is especially helpful when sleep difficulties are due to anxiety. Brain scan studies show that lavender oil works by raising levels of serotonin and other brain neurotransmitters involved in regulating mood and anxiety. Clinical trials show that lavender oil is as effective as the prescription-only tranquiliser, lorazepam, for relieving anxiety, bit without the side effects or potential for addiction. The main side effect is flatulence (but at least your wind smells nice!)”

Best supplements for sleep: Lavender oil is well-known for its sedative effect (Image: GETTY)

Best supplements for sleep: Valerian is a traditional herbal remedy (Image: GETTY)

Cherry extracts

Cherry juice is one of the richest dietary sources of pre-formed melatonin sleep hormone, according to Dr Brewer. She added: “The level of melatonin present in sour cherries is at least five times greater than is found in other dietary sources such as blackberries and strawberries. Cherries also contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid needed for the synthesis of melatonin, while the dark red cherry pigments boost the uptake of tryptophan, to magnify its effects.

“In a UK study involving 20 volunteers drank tart cherry juice concentrate or placebo for 7 days. Melatonin levels rose significantly in those drinking the cherry juice, along with total sleep time and sleep efficiency, while no changes were seen with placebo.

“Researchers from Louisiana State University found that drinking Montmorency cherry juice increases the amount of time you spend asleep. in fact, those with insomnia who drank cherry juice twice a day, for two weeks, slept over an hour longer each night (averaging 84 minutes) compared with placebo e.g Healthspan Super Cherry juice concentrate.”

5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a unique amino acid that’s only found in two places in nature – the human body and in the seeds of a West African medicinal plant, Griffonia simplicifolia from which supplements are derived.

Dr Brewer explained: “5-HTP acts as a building block to make brain chemicals including serotonin and melatonin sleep hormone. Studies show that 5-HTP helps you fall asleep more quickly, and extends the length of time spent in REM (rapid eye movement, or dreaming) sleep, so you wake up feeling more refreshed. 5-HTP is especially helpful for people with fibromyalgia, in which widespread pains, fatigue and sleep disturbance have been linked with low levels of serotonin.”

Dr Sarah Brewer has a master’s degree in Nutritional Medicine and is the Medical Director of Healthspan. www.DrSarahBrewer.com.

Important: If taking any prescribed medication, always check for interactions before taking any supplement, especially herbal supplements.

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