Melatonin in Cherries

Dec 22
Melatonin Identified in Cherries The University of Texas Health Science Center has identified and began to quantify the activity of presence of melatonin in cherries and tart cherry products including cherry juice and cherry powder. Melatonin is an antioxidant that shows it can be an excellent way to help maintain the body's circadian rhythms and natural sleep patterns. Dr. Russel Reiter and Dr. Dun-xian Tan from the University of Texas Health Science Center has  used radioimmunoassay (RIA) and high performance liquid chromatography to identify substantial levels of melatonin in tart cherry juice concentrate. According the Dr. Reiter, the amount found in cherry juice concentrate "is extremely significant." Melatonin is naturally found in the body in extremely small quantities and slight increases in melatonin levels can produce very positive results. The researchers are now working to determine the amount of active melatonin available to the human body after the consumption of tart cherry juice or other cherry products. Once identified, researchers will be able to calculate the optimum level of cherries that should be consumed to achieve the greatest health benefit. Dr. Reiter points out, "as we age, the human body's ability to produce melatonin decreases," so it may be beneficial to find a way to increase melatonin levels, particularly for the elderly. Including cherries as part of a healthy diet could be a way to do this. Tart Cherry Products and Melatonin: 
Cherry Products Melatonin Levels
Fresh Tart Cherries:  Up to 13.5 nanograms (ng) of Melatonin per gram
Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate: Has up to 10 times more the Melatonin per gram when compared to the raw fruit.
Tart Cherry Powder 137+ ng per gram
* Result conducted by Dr. Russell Reiter - *Cherry powder is used to make tart cherry capsules

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