Therapeutic Benefits of the Biohormone Melatonin – BioAge
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Therapeutic Benefits of the Biohormone Melatonin

Melatonin is a ubiquitous, naturally occurring neurotransmitter-like compound produced primarily by the pineal gland. This hormone is involved in many aspects of the biological and physiological regulation of body functions. The role of endogenous melatonin in circadian rhythm disturbances and sleep disturbances is well known. Some studies have shown that melatonin may also be effective in breast cancer, fibrocystic breast disease, and colon cancer. Melatonin has been shown to alter immunity, stress response, and some aspects of the aging process; some studies have shown improvement in sleep disturbance and sunset in Alzheimer’s patients. The antioxidant role of melatonin can potentially be exploited in conditions in which oxidative stress is involved in pathophysiological processes. The multiplicity of actions and the diversity of biological effects of melatonin suggest potential for a number of clinical and health applications. This review summarizes the physiology of melatonin and discusses the potential therapeutic potential of melatonin.

Sleep Disorders
Studies have shown that there is a relationship between sleep, pineal function, and melatonin levels. Nighttime melatonin levels and sleep quality decrease during puberty; in older people, sleep periods become shorter and sleep quality deteriorates. Controlled clinical trials have shown that melatonin is effective as a chronobiotic in a variety of circadian sleep disturbances.

Diurnal jet lag due to long-haul flight
When taken as a bio-pellet, melatonin can correct sleep disturbances, mental inefficiencies, and daytime fatigue (collectively known as “watch shift zones “), which arise after flights across several time zones. The disorganized biological rhythm caused by rapid environmental changes (and associated light / dark signals) can be corrected by melatonin.

Nighttime melatonin levels decrease with primary insomnia. Supplemental melatonin has been used successfully as a hypnotic for delayed sleep phase syndrome, a type of insomnia characterized by being awake and unable to fall asleep before 2–3 am. In several small studies, the dosage of melatonin B has been shown to advance the sleep phase (shortening the time to fall asleep) by about 1.5 hours and shorten the duration of sleep by about 30 minutes, indicating a reduced need for sleep as a consequence of improved sleep quality.

Melatonin has also been used to alter sleep architecture in narcolepsy, disturbed sleep / wake circadian rhythm, and rapid eye movement sleep deficit. Changes in REM sleep patterns similar to those in narcolepsy also occur in animals and humans after pineal gland removal.
Several studies using different doses of melatonin have reported improved sleep quality, faster falling asleep, and improved sleep maintenance without significantly altering memory, unlike benzodiazepines.

Sleep Disorders in Children
Melatonin has also been used successfully to treat serious sleep disorders in children with hyperactivity and neurological disorders, such as children with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder. In one study, doses of melotanin provided rapid sedation and improved sleep quality seen in almost all 15 subjects, without side effects. Irritability decreased, children became more alert and sociable, and developmental gains were reported in children treated with melatonin.

Endocrine function and immunity
There is a tight mutual connection. Melatonin modulates the activity of this axis and the peripheral action of corticoids. One study found that melatonin releases vasotocin, which lowers corticoid levels; also recently, another study showed that melatonin decreased the basal release of vasotocin. In this latest study, substance P used substance P. -induced vasotocin secretion was also inhibited.

Melatonin counteracts several effects of exogenous corticoids: immune depression and hypercatabolism, thymic involution, and adrenal suppression. These data have led to the suggestion that melatonin may act as an anti-adrenocortical or anti-stress factor. The melatonin / corticoid relationship is important because chronic hypercortisolemia is associated with several aspects of aging and age-related phenomena, including glucose intolerance, atherogenesis, impaired immune function and cancer.
Indeed, the immunostimulatory and anticorticoid effects of melatonin, or putative mediators of melatonin action. depend on a constant balance. This may represent an integral immune recovery mechanism by which melatonin acts as a kind of buffer against the harmful effects of stress on immune homeostasis.

Cancer protection
It has been suggested that the steady increase in cancer incidence in developed countries over the past 100 years is due to the routine artificial prolongation of light periods using electric light or “light pollution”. Prolonged photoperiod results in suppressed nighttime melatonin secretion. In animals, melatonin suppresses the occurrence of chemically induced tumors, which increase with suppression of the pineal gland (prolonged light phase) or pinealectomy. Pineectomy stimulates and / or melatonin suppresses the growth and sometimes metastasis of experimental types of lung and liver cancer. , ovaries, pituitary gland and prostate, as well as melanoma and leukemia.[


The relationship between melatonin levels, pineal function and mood disorders is supported by epidemiological and chronobiological data. Both seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and classic “non-seasonal” depression show marked seasonal incidence, with peaks in fall and spring, respectively. This coincides with the minimum annual melatonin rhythm.

Brain serotonin levels increase after melatonin administration, which may be significant as serotonin is associated with a number of neuropsychiatric events. Decreased central serotonin, as indicated by low levels of the marker serotonin 5- hydroxyindoleacetic acid. acid (5-HIAA) in cerebrospinal fluid is associated with impulsivity, aggression and auto-aggression, alcoholism, compulsive gambling, overeating, and other obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Supporting the serotonin system with serotonergic nutrients or medications can elevate mood, reduce aggression, increase pain threshold, reduce anxiety, alleviate insomnia, improve impulse control, and relieve obsessive-compulsive syndromes.

Endogenous depression
Classic depression usually begins in the spring and persists through the summer, during the lengthening of the mild phase. This group may benefit from induced phase retention (and light phase reduction) caused by exposure to bright light in the evening, getting up late, avoiding bright light in the morning, and injecting melatonin (especially delayed-release melatonin) late in the evening or just before bed.

In a recent study of postmenopausal women, administration of melatonin significantly alleviated depression. In a wide dose range study, agomelatine, a melatonergic receptor agonist, was found to relieve depression as well as anxiety
Antioxidant use
The antioxidant effects of melatonin are well documented and include both direct and indirect effects. The mechanism of antioxidant action was also assessed. The introduction of melatonin leads to an increase in the expression of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase

Central Nervous System
Melatonin was found to prevent cell death and methylphenyltetrahydropyridine (MPTP) -induced substantia nigra in experimental parkinsonism. Melatonin pretreatment reduced the size of cerebral infarction and edema after middle cerebral artery occlusion and ischemia-reperfusion in rat ischemia. Melatonin has been proposed as a candidate neuroprotective compound for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In addition, a study investigating the neuroprotective effects of melatonin in various areas of the central nervous system demonstrated the antioxidant effect of melatonin on the entire spinal cord, optic nerve, brain and white matter of the spinal cord, with the strongest effects observed in the white matter of the spinal cord.

In a rodent model of Alzheimer’s disease, melatonin lowered plasma homocysteine ​​and lipid levels, and researchers suggested that the antioxidant effect of melatonin might be responsible for these results. It was found that in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the level of melatonin in the cerebrospinal fluid is significantly reduced. In a study of 14 patients with various stages of Alzheimer’s disease, melatonin supplementation for 22–35 months improved sleep and significantly reduced the frequency of sunsets. In addition, patients did not experience cognitive or behavioral impairment during the study period. The neuroprotective effects of melatonin are not mediated by membrane melatonin receptors and thus may result from the antioxidant and antiamyloidogenic properties of melatonin.

Cardiovascular system
Melatonin reduces heart attack size, suppresses the incidence and duration of ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation, and improves survival in these models.
One review noted that melatonin lowers cholesterol levels by 38% in humans and lowers blood pressure and catecholamine levels, possibly by relaxing smooth muscles in the aortic walls. Melatonin also inhibits copper-induced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation, potentially contributing to antiatherosclerotic effects
The gastroprotective effects of melatonin have been observed in various models of gastric ulcers in several laboratories. These effects may also be related to the antioxidant effects of melatonin. In experimental models of acute pancreatitis, melatonin has shown beneficial effects. Other conditions for which melatonin can be added to existing treatments include irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and diarrhea.

Kidney Disease
Melatonin has been found to protect against glycerol-induced renal failure due to its antioxidant effect. Melatonin also reduces interstitial kidney inflammation and improves hypertension.

Anti-aging hormone
melatonin is anti-aging, have been highlighted in review articles. One proponent of this hypothesis suggests that “melatonin deficiency syndrome is possibly the main mechanism by which the aging process can be altered.
Some evidence suggests an antioxidant role for melatonin with potential beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s disease; parkinsonism; cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and renal disorders.


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