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“Night Milk” Crystals Sold In Europe As Natural Source of Melatonin

October 17, 2010: 12:19 PM EST

The German firm Milchkristalle has developed a way to produce melatonin-rich milk that can be marketed as a natural crystalline source of the “sleep hormone” that helps regulate the body’s sleep cycles. The firm’s “night milk” is taken from cows under nighttime lighting conditions when the melatonin levels in the milk are the highest. The cows’ diet is fortified with clover, which contains tryptophan, a chemical converted to melatonin by the body. The milk is marketed in crystalline form to be mixed with milk or yogurt. Melatonin is sold over-the-counter in the U.S. as a supplement, but requires a doctor’s prescription in Europe. Some scientists have referred to the Milchkristalle crystals as “expensive placebos” that contain much less melatonin than the relatively ineffective pill supplements.

The Local, "Munich firm patents 'night milk' to help the sleepless", The Local, October 17, 2010, © The Local
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