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Most Melatonin Gummies Have Inaccurate Labels

Analysis shows most exceed the declared amount of melatonin and cannabidiol and may expose children to very high doses

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Most melatonin gummy products are inaccurately labeled, with most products exceeding the declared amount of melatonin and cannabidiol (CBD), according to a research letter published in the April 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Pieter A. Cohen, M.D., from Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts, and colleagues assessed the actual quantity of melatonin and CBD in these products versus the quantities declared on the labels. Products formulated as gummies with “melatonin” on the label were identified in the National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Label Database and purchased for analysis. Screening for serotonin, previously identified as a contaminant in melatonin products, was also performed.

The researchers analyzed 25 products and determined one product did not contain detectable levels of melatonin but did contain 31.3 mg of CBD. The remaining products had quantities of melatonin ranging from 1.3 to 13.1 mg per serving size, which ranged from 74 to 347 percent of the labeled quantity. Most products (22 of 25 products) were inaccurately labeled, with only three products containing a quantity of melatonin that was within ±10 percent of the declared quantity. CBD was declared as an ingredient in five products, with the quantity ranging from 10.6 to 31.3 mg per serving or 104 to 118 percent of the labeled quantity. No product had detectable serotonin.

“Consuming melatonin gummies as directed could expose children to between 40 and 130 times higher quantities of melatonin,” the authors write. “Given these findings, clinicians should advise parents that pediatric use of melatonin gummies may result in ingestion of unpredictable quantities of melatonin and CBD.”

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