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MELATONIN Health Benefits

MELATONIN is a powerful antioxidant

MELATONIN helps protect the body from cell damage caused by free radicals:

–    Direct scavenger of OH (hydroxyl radical),O2•-(superoxide radical), and NO (Nitric oxide), ONOO-(Peroxynitrite anion), 1O2 (singlet oxygen), and possibly LOO(peroxyl radical);

–   Neuroprotective - Can easily cross cell membranes and the blood-brain barrier.

Kilic E, Özdemir YG, Bolay H, Kelestimur H, Dalkara I. Pinealectomy aggravates and melatonin administration attenuates brain damage in focal ischemia. J Cerebr Blood Flow Metab 19:511–516, 1999.Medline

Baydas, G., H. Canatan and A. Turkoglu, 2002. Comparative analysis of the protective effects of melatonin and vitamin E on streptozocin induced diabetes mellitus. J. Pineal Res., 32: 225-230.PubMed

–   “Suicidal antioxidant”- unlike other antioxidants (such as vitamin C), MELATONIN can not be renewed (i.e. it does not undergo redox cycling, the ability of a molecule to repeatedly undergo reduction and oxidation to regain antioxidant property).

–   Demonstrated to prevent some carcinogenic damage to DNA.   Stops mechanism by which damaged DNA causes cancer.

–   Increases body's "in-house" antioxidant glutathione.  Is equally effective as this important antioxidant

–   Debated as equal to vitamin E as a chain-breaking antioxidant against peroxyl radical.   Produced by lipid peroxidation, which e.g. damages cell membranes altering cellular function. The resulting cell membrane rigidity associated with aging;

–   Scavenges initiating radicals and breakdown products from lipid peroxidation.    Assured by the fact that it scavenges 1O2, ONOO-and OH, all of which are sufficiently reactive to initiate the peroxidative process. Prevents otherwise harmful changes to membrane fluidity and function.

–    Greatly reduced inflammatory response.    Both ONOO- and NO are believed to be the mediators of the inflammation in animals treated with carrageenan

Beckman J.S., Koppenol W.H. Nitric oxide, superoxide, and peroxynitrite: The good, the bad and ugly// Am. J. Physiol.-1996

–   Protected against brain injury caused by ROS release in newborn rats

–   May reduce damage caused by some types of Parkinson's disease

–   May play a role in preventing cardiac arrhythmia

–   May increase longevity.    Shown to increase average life span of mice by 20% in some studies.

–   Protects against sunburn.    Scientists at University of Zurich found that MELATONIN protects against UV radiation if topically applied before skin exposure;

–   Role in repairing burned skin.    In a study in Brain Research Bulletin, MELATONIN levels rose six hours after burn injury, then fell to normal.

–   May prevent cataract formation

–   In small amounts, causes skin cells to proliferate.    In large amounts it stops proliferation. People with psoriasis and atopic eczema have peak MELATONIN in the day (instead of at night), and low levels at night; not too surprising in that some scientists consider the skin to be another gland.

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