Melatonin is a substance that can be found in animals, plants, fungi and bacteria, as well as in a hormone produced naturally by the pineal gland in order to response to darkness. Melatonin in animals affects physiological functions like sleep timing, blood pressure regulation, seasonal reproduction and many others. The hormone is widely used as a sleep aid and treatment of many sleep disorders, though it does much more than just helps some people sleep better.
It is well known, that melatonin treats different kinds of sleep problems involving sleep cycles, such as jet lag or irregular night shift work, by promoting the necessary re-set of the body's sleep-wake phase.
Melatonin is a very powerful antioxidant produced within the body that protects your brain. It protects both lipids and proteins against damage, and can clean your body from some of the most dangerous free radicals, like hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide, compared to other antioxidants, melatonin easily diffuses into all cells. When you age, levels of naturally produced melatonin decline and you have to take supplements to renew antioxidant protection against some of the most unfortunate diseases of aging as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke. For people with Alzheimer’s disease melatonin improves sleep and reduces late-day aggravation of symptoms. Studies showed that at the time of stroke melatonin decreases brain cell death and brain tissue damage and reduced the rate of stroke-related death. Moreover, after some experiments scientists believe that melatonin can manage one of the leading risk factors for this disease - elevated blood pressure. The treatment with melatonin decreases nighttime blood pressure, without modifying heart rate.
Studies on small mammals showed that melatonin can delay the first signs of aging and slow down the whole process. Furthermore, it helps to reduce the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD/PMS).
One of the most important advantages of melatonin is that this hormone can fight different kinds of cancers, like breast and liver cancers, non-small-cell lung cancer and brain metastases from solid tumours.¹
Research shows that patients who had been suffering with tinnitus and were given melatonin every day, significantly improved their condition and also reported a better sleep.
Research also shows that melatonin may help fight one of the most common diseases that aging men can experience - prostate cancer. It reduces the number of prostate cancer cells and slows replication. One study showed that men with melatonin levels above the median had a 30% decreased risk of prostate cancer overall and a 75% statistically significant decrease in the risk of advanced disease compared to those who had melatonin level below the median.²
One of greatest things is that melatonin protects against chemotherapy-induced immunosuppression. Melatonin mediates the toxicity of chemotherapy and inhibits free-radical production. Adding melatonin to a chemotherapy regimen may prevent some toxic effects of the chemotherapy drugs, especially myelosuppression (suppression of blood cells production in bone marrow) and neuropathies (abnormality of nerve functioning both within and outside the central nervous system).³
Good news for everyone who suffers from migraines - melatonin’s anti-inflammatory effect and free-radical-scavenging effects can help reduce the frequency and severity of strong headaches.
Melatonin can also help you to fight heartburn and GERD, because of its remarkable ability to control stomach acid and protect the esophagus from the caustic effects of gastric acid.
There are different factors that can lead to type 2 diabetes: family history, extra weight because of the poor diet, and inactive lifestyle. Moreover, low nighttime secretion of melatonin almost can double the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. So it’s very essential to take it if you fall in this category.
1 Melatonin. Monograph. Altern Med Rev. 2005 Dec;10(4):326-36.
2Urinary melatonin levels, sleep disruption, and risk of prostate cancer: American Association for Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer Foundation Conference, Advances in Prostate Cancer Research, January 18-21, 2014, San Diego, CA
3 Lissoni P, Barni S, Mandala M, et al. Decreased toxicity and increased efficacy of cancer chemotherapy using the pineal hormone melatonin in metastatic solid tumour patients with poor clinical status. Eur J Cancer. 1999 Nov;35(12):1688-92.
Melatonin is POSSIBLY SAFE when appropriately orally ingested, long-term.
Melatonin is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when orally ingested short-term or when applied to the skin.
Almost no one knew about the pineal gland in Western Medicine. Only in 1958 Lerner discovered and reported that it secreted melatonin. So, the Greeks described it as The Realm of Thought; Descartes called it The Seat of the Soul. In Eastern medicine it has long been associated with the “Third Eye” and intuition, and an energy chakra.
It is now known that electromagnetic frequencies (EMF´s) lower your melatonin levels in the body, allowing estrogen and IGF-1 levels to increase. So be careful when you are using Wi-Fi on your devices!
One of the biggest fans of melatonin is Suzanne Somers, who wrote a lot of articles about its powerful ability to encourage sleep, slow aging and improving women’s health overall!