Melatonin – Product Information
Melatonin is a neurohormone that is naturally released from the pineal gland and is mostly known to regulate sleep. It is made from serotonin which is derived from L-tryptophan. Melatonin is released for sleep to aid in normalizing sleep patterns and regulating the circadian rhythm. Recent studies have shown additional possible effects as exogenously administered oral melatonin was able to affect both central excitation and spatial working memory in mice.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin, also known as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a ubiquitous chemical found in nearly all living creatures. It is an indolamine present in every compartment of the organism due to its amphiphilic diffusion properties.
Melatonin is a tiny, highly conserved indole that possesses several receptor-mediated and receptor-independent effects. Among the receptor-dependent actions are the regulation of the circadian rhythm(internal clock of the body) and the prevention of cancer. The receptor-independent functions involve melatonin’s ability to function in the detoxification of free radicals, thus protecting essential molecules from the harmful effects of oxidative stress under conditions of ischemia/reperfusion injury (stroke, heart attack), ionizing radiation, and medication toxicity, among others.[R]
How Does Melatonin Work – Melatonin Production?
Melatonin is produced centrally in the pineal gland of vertebrates, specifically mammals. Its pineal synthesis is timed by the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which is synchronized to the light-dark cycle via the retinohypothalamic tract, hence placing melatonin production at night if it is dark. This unique property transforms melatonin into an internal synchronizer that adapts the physiology of an organism to daily and seasonal demands. In addition to being amphiphilic, melatonin has special mechanisms and modes of action related to its role as a time-giving agent and is broadly distributed throughout the body. The present review focuses on melatonin as a pineal hormone with distinct processes and modes of action, as well as presenting clinical symptoms associated with its synthesis and/or dysfunction.[R]
Numerous animal and human studies have been conducted on the potential application of Melatonin. Below are some of the relevant findings:
Melatonin on Headache in Adolescent Subjects
Melatonin has shown effectiveness for tension headaches. A study revealed the potential for preventing tension headaches in children. Twenty-one individuals took 3 grams of melatonin before bedtime for three months. After treatment, 14 of 21 patients reported a 50% or more reduction in the intensity of their pain syndrome, and four of them experienced no pain attacks at all.[R]
Melatonin on Postmenopausal Female Subjects
Â In postmenopausal women with a history of sleep impairment, melatonin supplements improve EEG patterns and subjective sleep quality thus giving better night’s sleep. Melatonin relieves climacteric symptoms in one or more domains at doses of 3 mg and above. The majority of research presented a low risk of bias. Melatonin administration should be investigated for menopausal women in view of its various health advantages and outstanding safety profile.[R]
Melatonin on Short-Gestation Newborns
The fetus normally receives melatonin from the mother, but when premature delivery occurs, there can be a prolonged period of melatonin deficiency( low melatonin levels). This deficiency may be harmful as melatonin has important functions in the fetus. Short-gestation newborns are more susceptible to respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, and brain injury. Melatonin, which naturally regulates sleep-wake cycles, has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce the risk of these complications. Several studies have demonstrated that supplementing short-gestation infants with melatonin can improve sleep patterns, decrease oxidative stress, and potentially even lower the incidence of complications such as sepsis and brain injury.
However, the safety and efficacy of melatonin in this population and other populations such as kids/children require more research, and the optimal dosing and timing of melatonin supplementation for such ages need further research.[R]
Melatonin on Lower Back Pain
A study was conducted to investigate the efficacy of melatonin in treating chronic lower back pain, which is a debilitating condition that can greatly affect an individual’s quality of life. The study involved 178 patients between the ages of 40 and 65, who had experienced lower back pain for at least 12 months. The patients were divided into six groups, with three comparison pairs. Study group 1 took glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate with melatonin, while comparison group 1 took the same regimen without melatonin. In comparison, group 2 took the same regimen as group 1 and diclofenac, while study group 2 took the same regimen as group 1 along with melatonin. Study group 3 took diclofenac and melatonin, while comparison group 3 took only diclofenac. The results showed that taking melatonin in addition to the standard treatment regimen led to a significant decrease in pain and better sleep quality.[R]
Melatonin on Fibromyalgia
The disorder fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain along with fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood difficulties. In Russia, a study was done to see what happened when 11 people with fibromyalgia took 1.5 mg of melatonin (Melaxen) at night for 10 days. Subjective and objective measures of sleep quality were taken. Polysomnography showed that the person had night sleep disorders, such as trouble falling asleep, a longer latent period of surface and paradoxical sleep, suppression of deep sleep, a lower number of complete sleep cycles, more wake periods and sleep movements, and so on. After the treatment, the patients said they slept better, and polygraphic recordings showed that this was true: it was easier for them to fall asleep, they woke up less during sleep, etc. The patients also said they felt better, were less depressed, and could use their hands better during the day.
The results show that melatonin improves the quality of sleep in people with sleep disorders as they fall asleep faster. These patients also said that their levels of pain and depression had gone down. [R]
Melatonin on Jet Lag
Melatonin may play a big part in first is to promote sleep and alertness at the appropriate times; the second is to promoting the adjustment of the body clock to the new time zone. [R]
Melatonin is a natural supplement that has been used for many years to help people with jet lag. It works by regulating the body’s internal clock, helping to reset the circadian rhythm and reduce the effects of jet lag.Â