News tagged with melatonin

Related topics: sleep

Could melatonin be the key to healthy aging?

A new British Journal of Pharmacology review highlights the role of melatonin—a hormone that is produced at night—in regulating sleep and the body's biological, or circadian, clock. Research suggests that melatonin treatments ...

Jan 10, 2018
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Is ADHD really a sleep problem?

Around 75% of children and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also have sleep problems, but until now these have been thought to be separate issues. Now a in a pulling together of the latest research, ...

Sep 03, 2017
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Melatonin may help treat blood cancers

Researchers have examined the potential benefits of melatonin, a hormone made by a small gland in the brain, for treating blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. They point to evidence that melatonin boosts the immune ...

Sep 01, 2017
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Trouble getting to sleep? Scientists say go camping

In our modern times, many of us sit up late into the night, watching TV, fiddling with our smartphones, or reading a book by lamplight. Getting up to the sound of the morning alarm isn't easy. Now, researchers reporting in ...

Feb 02, 2017
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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

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