Melatonin for Acid Reflux – Is it Effective?

melatonin for acid reflux

Believe it or not using melatonin for GERD or acid reflux can be an effective way to treat GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and LPR (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux). If you didn’t already know someone who suffers from the likes of these acid reflux problems means that there has to be a root cause.

Of course, there can be a host of possibilities for both LPR and GERD but the most likely cause for both is because of a weakened LES muscle. If you didn’t know LES stands for lower esophageal sphincter which is the valve that is directly above the stomach. The importance of this valve is that once foods enters the stomach it is meant to tighten and close to keep the food and acid inside the stomach as it should. For more information on the LES check out – The Stomach Sphincters Important Role in Acid Reflux.

Someone with one of the aforementioned acid reflux problems will likely have an LES that relaxes and remains open when it shouldn’t. This opening and relaxation gives the acid reflux symptoms in the first place.

The reason why I wanted to properly explain this is because of how melatonin works to help prevent this. Someone who takes one dose daily of melatonin has been shown to increase this LES pressure. What this increased pressure basically means is that the LES is closing more tightly which significantly helps with keeping the acid in the stomach. Not only that but the total relaxation time of the LES is lower than without taking the melatonin. This means that for someone who suffers from acid reflux problems they should see a significant reduction in symptoms. If you want more details and information on this, there is a study where it has been covered in detail here.

Not only can melatonin have this positive effect on the LES pressure but it also can have a positive effect on the mucosa in the gastro tract where it has been shown to protect these mucosa from (oxidative) damage.

If you do decide to take melatonin it should be mentioned that the benefit you will see will be a gradual one that should build up over a period of 1-2 months so don’t expect an immediate benefit in the first few days of taking it. As for the dosage of melatonin GERD dosage, in the study they used an oral fast release of 3mg a day which was taken before bedtime. There have also been other studies which have matched this dosage and there is also another study that was taking 6mg. So ideally I think it’s best to start with a 3mg dosage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Melatonin Give you Acid Reflux?

Melatonin shouldn’t ever give you acid reflux. Melatonin is actually excreted in the digestive system and helps aid digestion in many ways. So, taking melatonin should have no negative effect that could cause or worsen acid reflux. In rare cases it could give you a sore stomach, but this would more than likely be due to taking too large of a dosage. Ideally keep the dosage around 6mg or less and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Is Melatonin Bad for GERD?

This question ties in with the first question and the answer is the same – no melatonin is not bad for GERD in fact it’s good for GERD and has been shown to be greatly effective at treating GERD and acid reflux.

What is a Good Supplement for Acid Reflux?

Undoubtedly melatonin is one of the best natural supplements to take for someone who has acid reflux. There are of course other supplements you can consider like vitamin B complex and vitamin D. These could potentially help acid reflux because they are important for your body muscles which can in turn help things like the muscle above stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter which for acid reflux sufferers is one of the main causes, particularly for people with GERD.

Is it OK to Take Melatonin Every Night?

Generally speaking, taking melatonin every night is absolutely fine. Melatonin is naturally occurring in the body and thus is well accepted by the body. There are potential side effects like headaches, but these are very uncommon. If you stick with a dose lower than 6mg it should be completely fine for taking them long term.


Melatonin and Omeprazole

A lot of people who have more severe acid reflux tend to take a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) drug like Omeprazole. There have been studies done to show that when taken together the healing effect works faster than just taking the Omeprazole alone. You can see read more about this study here.

Melatonin for Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

The common treatment for GERD is taking Omeprazole though this study proves that the melatonin alone will be more effective on it’s own that just the Omeprazole. The one thing to mention here is that the melatonin has a slower effect than the Omeprazole meaning that you will see an improvement with the omeprazole sooner but the effect over time will be more effective with the melatonin. The melatonin takes time to build up in the body and the more it builds up over 1-2 months’ time the more it helps the effects of GERD.

Melatonin for Acid Reflux – Conclusion

So finally, the question was if melatonin can be effective at treating acid reflux. As can be seen in the study for people with GERD is has been shown to be effective at helping stop symptoms and is about as effective as taking PPI’s (proton pump inhibitors). While there is no study for patients with LPR there would likely be a similar conclusion due to most patients with LPR having the weakness with the LES stomach sphincter just like someone with GERD.

For more advice on melatonin or anything acid reflux related consider a Private Acid Reflux Consultation Here with me.

18 thoughts on “Melatonin for Acid Reflux – Is it Effective?”

    1. Doctors will only prescribe it in the UK if you are over 55 and have insomnia. The easiest way to get melatonin really is to order online from an american provider. I personally used the website eVitamins.

      1. Is it okay to take melatonin right before bed with water? Taking melatonin but not drinking 2 hours before bed are contradictory, unless we are expected to take melatonin without water?

        1. Yeah you can take the melatonin right before bed. But the best time to take it is about 30 minutes before you want to sleep. You can take it with water of course no problem.

      2. Hey David, so question is did you try Melatonin and how did it work out for you? Which one did you try if you did? thanks

        1. Hi James,
          Yes I personally tried it though it didn’t work for me. I think for people with GERD especially it’s absolutely worth trying. I forget the brand I used but it was 3mg taken 30 minutes before sleeping.

          1. In studies it has been shown to help with LES pressure etc. so yes that would be one of the benefits of taking it yes.

    1. That’s a good question. I guess GPs tend to have the preference of using pharmaceutical drugs to treat problems instead of using something more natural which sometimes can be more effective!

      1. I can add to this, Melatonin is a naturally produced substance made by the body but synthesized for our consumption as a supplement. Because it is naturally occuring it cannot be copyrighted and ergo the big pharmas who would spend all the research money to get it to market/doctors dont see a good return on investment as they can’t corner the market with a medical copyright which can be lucrative. So ultimately its money over medicine yet again for big pharma, where there is money to be made they will be there.

        1. Yeah I think that’s correct. Especially melatonin is a much much better option than taking PPIs in the long term which is usually what are given instead.

  1. Hi David,
    I am so grateful for your detailed information and dedication to helping us all learn more about this condition. I have suffered for many years and have gone to allergist, ENT and gastroenterologist. At the beginning it was thought that it could be allergies and it was causing me to have asthma like symptoms. So you can imagine I’ve taken all of the medications for asthma, which technically help my breathing but do not take the burning effect away or the night coughing. I am taking omeprazole which seemed to have helped but every time I have a cold or flu my symptoms get rattled and I even lose my voice. It was reading your information that I realized based on all of the symptoms I do have LPR. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting info out here. I’ve started taking RefluxRaft and it has made a huge difference. I’m also going to start taking melatonin based on your recommendations. I’m just concerned that our medical providers don’t educate us and just prescribe meds. You have given me hope and awareness after over 20 years of suffering from this condition. I will continue to read your writings and learn. I appreciate you and the time you put into the information you’re sharing with us. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Adriana,
      You are most welcome. I am glad to have been able to help of course. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to send me a message.

  2. David, just found your site here today. I’m 60 years old and have either LPR or GERD (what’s the difference and how do I determine which it is?).

    I might take PPI’s (Dr. wants me to), but wish to try other things first.

    Symptoms were, lump in throat, ticket in throat for 6 months, burning in throat and stomach, especially when laying down and mostly on my right side, and lots of salvia in my mouth (always spitting~ swallowing it burns)

    I had a first visit with a Naturalpath and he gave me this tonic to take (2ml in water before meals ~ it is liquid herb extracts) and tells me to temporally get off supplements and eat very simple protein foods a few times a day. I’m not sure what the premise is. He says I can introduce other foods back later. He says I was on way too much fruit (in my morning smoothies), I guess the fruit, he thought was interfering with my Acid reflux.

    What is YOUR suggestion as to what I should try? I just don’t seem to get any relief and am afraid of getting throat cancer. I have a endoscope scheduled in 2 months (earliest).

    It has only been 4 days taking 3mL Melatonin 30 minutes before bed.

    Should I just wait and be patient and do what I’m doing, in taking the Melatonin for a few months before giving up.

    1. Hi John, from what you have mentioned it sounds like LPR to me. Therefore I would not suggest taking PPIs as they are only effective for people with GERD not LPR. I don’t know what’s in the herb mixture but it could be doing more harm that good I might guess. If I was you I would consider a low acid diet like my Wipeout Diet. Also I offer a consultation here if you want, so I can get into the other important details in addition to your diet. Taking the melatonin is good and it may help but it usually takes some time to show any benefits as you may already know.

  3. Hi David,

    I have been diagnosed with the below:

    Minimal gastritis in the stomach
    Dueonitis in the stomach
    Mild erythema on the lower esapohgus

    I have been taking Lanzaprazole 30m for 4 months. I stopped taking the Lanzaprazole after 4 months and started to feel lots of pain in my stomach, to the point which i became irritable and could not tolerate it. I think this is what you call the ‘Rebound effect of the PPI’, something which at the time I had no knowledge of at all. So i literally must of been experiencing the rebound effect without even knowing it, rather perceiving the situation as if it was too early to come off the PPI.

    Anyway, I went to a private doctor in Turkey as at the time I was on holiday over there. This doctor was actually a gastrology specailist and not just an ordinary GP doctor. He prescribed the below drugs to me to use for 3 months non-stop, suggesting that i would feel better after the drugs are finished.

    Panto 40mg – Once a day, 1 hour before breakfast
    Debridant Fort – Twice a day, one with breakfast and one before sleeping. 12 hour gap (He prescribed this to me as i said i was having too much constipation with the lanzaprazole)
    Famodin 20mg – Once a day before sleeping

    Whats your view on this? I intend to keep taking the drugs until my 3 month is up, and then i will start the tapering process. What do you think I should take to taper off? Will 30mg Lanzaprazole be enough to taper off? As i have been on PPI for atleast 4-5 months now. And by the end of the 3 months i would of been on higher doesage all that time.

    Perhaphs if i can start with 30mg Lanzaprazole for maybe 1 month, and then drop down to 20mg Omeraprazole?

    Look forward to your feedback.

    1. Hi Volk,

      Personally I don’t like PPI’s in general for acid reflux though there are some cases where they may help like GERD and gastritis too. So perhaps Panto can be okay for short term use at least. Famitidine, is fine before bed too. As for Debridant Fort that is Trimebutine is helpful for soothing IBS muscles and so on. I think it’s a reasonable treatment to start with. Personally if it was me I would be looking to adjust my diet to avoid the triggers and look to taper of the PPI sooner than later if possible.

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