News tagged with melatonin

Related topics: sleep

Melatonin may lower prostate cancer risk

Higher levels of melatonin, a hormone involved in the sleep-wake cycle, may suggest decreased risk for developing advanced prostate cancer, according to results presented here at the AACR-Prostate Cancer Foundation Conference ...

Jan 19, 2014
popularity 4.3 / 5 (8) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Bad sleep around full moon is no longer a myth

Many people complain about poor sleep around full moon. Scientists at the University of Basel in Switzerland now report evidence that lunar cycles and human sleep behavior are in fact connected. The results have been published ...

Jul 25, 2013
popularity 4.7 / 5 (15) | comments 1 | with audio podcast

Genetic study links body clock receptor to diabetes

A study published in Nature Genetics today has found new evidence for a link between the body clock hormone melatonin and type 2 diabetes. The study found that people who carry rare genetic mutations in the receptor for me ...

Jan 29, 2012
popularity 4 / 5 (2) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Melatonin

Melatonin i/ˌmɛləˈtoʊnɪn/, also known chemically as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a naturally occurring compound found in animals, plants, and microbes. In animals, circulating levels of the hormone melatonin vary in a daily cycle, thereby allowing the entrainment of the circadian rhythms of several biological functions.

Many biological effects of melatonin are produced through activation of melatonin receptors, while others are due to its role as a pervasive and powerful antioxidant, with a particular role in the protection of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.

In mammals, melatonin is secreted into the blood by the pineal gland in the brain. Known as the "hormone of darkness," it is secreted in darkness in both day-active (diurnal) and night-active (nocturnal) animals.

It may also be produced by a variety of peripheral cells such as bone marrow cells, lymphocytes, and epithelial cells. Usually, the melatonin concentration in these cells is much higher than that found in the blood, but it does not seem to be regulated by the photoperiod.

Research has shown that when bird chicks ingest melatonin-rich plant feed, such as rice, the melatonin binds to melatonin receptors in their brains. No food has been found to elevate plasma melatonin levels in humans.

Products containing melatonin have been available over-the-counter as dietary supplements in the United States since the mid-1990s. In many other countries, the over-the-counter sale of this neurohormone is not permitted or requires a prescription, and the U.S. Postal Service lists unapproved melatonin preparations among items prohibited by Germany.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA