New ‘Relaxation Foods’ Cause Concern

For years, Americans have been hooked on energy drinks. Need a five-hour boost? Just pop the top and go, go, go.

But now there’s a new trend – foods that mellow you out. Take Lazy Cakes. Also known as relaxation brownies. Or Slowtivate, which bills itself as the “relaxation drink.”

These products are being embraced as antidotes to a stressful world. They contain the nutritional supplement, melatonian.

But are they safe?

According to some experts, the ingredients like melatonin could have a negative effect on your health.

Are “relaxation foods” worth it? Experts weigh in on “The Early Show”:

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While Innovative Beverage Group CEO Peter Bianchi, which makes the “extreme relaxation drink” Drank, claims “the genesis of this product was being a positive alternative to drugs and alcohol,” others aren’t so sure it’s as positive as he’d like to believe.

Dr. David Seres of the Columbia University says melatonin should not be used as an ingredient in food. And he isn’t the only one concerned about the ingredient. Last year the FDA sent Drank a warning letter, citing safety concerns about Melatonin, including an increased risk of developmental disorders during pregnancy.

In fact, Melatonin has caused more calls to poison control centers than any other supplement and most have involved children.

The article “Melatonin Treatment for Age-Related Insomnia” in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism documented the following unwanted effects in some people, especially at high doses (3 mg/day or more): headaches, nausea, next-day grogginess or irritability, hormone fluctuations, vivid dreams or nightmares, reduced blood flow and Hypothermia.

Despite the concern of the FDA, Dr. Seres and Sen. Dick Durbin, sales of “relaxation foods” don’t seem to be slowing down. Sales of these trendy products have gone from $0 just a few years ago to an estimated $100 million today.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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