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.