Objective: To determine if current peer-reviewed literature supports the existence of a relationship between the administration of dietary supplements containing 5-Aminolevulinic Acid (5-ALA) and sleep. Methods: Conceptual analysis of a systematically defined group of data is based on publications in referred journals. Constant comparative analyses were used to analyze the data. Detailed analyses were used to identify trends that led to qualifying relationships between the use of 5-ALA and heme. In addition, the relationship among heme, melatonin, and sleep were explored. Since there were no published data related to 5-ALA and sleep, an analysis of what is known about 5-ALA and heme was undertaken. Results: Currently, within the scope of this review, no literature available directly connecting 5-ALA and sleep was found. Research indicates that 5-ALA has an indirect relationship with intra-cellular energy production, which could result in a wide range of effects fromcellular to endocrine to neurologic to behavioral. In addition, there is evidence that 5-ALA may influence tryptophan and serotonin levels. Conclusion: While there are no studies on 5-ALA and sleep were found, current research suggests several potential mechanisms by which 5-ALA could influence sleep. The mechanisms suggest the potential for 5-ALA to assist in the adjustment of a person’s circadian cycle, endocrine function, or neurologic function in order to allow for better sleep in a natural way. In doing so, it may provide for a safer alternative to currently available sleep medication. Further research is needed to explore this possibility.
Problem: 5-ALA has been used for many years at relatively high dose amounts in single doses for photodynamic therapy and immunofluorescence of tumors. An analysis of compiled data relating to safety and any side-effects about the use of 5-ALA at low doses has not yet been published. Purpose: This report analyzes data about the safety of the use of 5-Aminolevulinic Acid (5-ALA) in low doses as a supplement over an extended period of time. Methods: This investigation is a systematic analysis of the current literature ((Medline, and SBI) and snowballing techniques) related to the safety and efficacy of 5-ALA in animals and humans. Clinical trials in progress using 5-ALA were also analyzed. Constant comparative analyses were used to synthesize the findings. Results: The safety of low-dose 5-ALA as a supplement has been demonstrated by animal and human studies. The results suggest that none of the investigations document the presence of symptoms or abnormal laboratory results of clinical significance. The minor laboratory changes documented were judged not clinically significant.