It’s well known that melatonin benefits as a sleep aid, and possesses potent antioxidant and immune-boosting properties, but if we told you that’s just the tip of the iceberg?
Believe it or not: Melatonin UNDER PROMISES but OVER DELIVERS as an antioxidant.
In this article, we will be discussing five little-known melatonin benefits for your well-being.
Let’s start with:
1. Melatonin Benefits Your Cardiovascular Health
There was a systematic review published in 2016 in the Current Opinion in Lipidology that reviewed recent studies regarding potential melatonin benefits on cardiovascular diseases.
The researchers of this review concluded that the studies showed that melatonin significantly positively affects various cardiovascular conditions, such as:
- Ischemia-reperfusion injury
- Myocardial chronic intermittent hypoxia injury
- Valvular heart diseases
- Vascular heart diseases
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Lipid metabolism
These positive effects come from melatonin activating or modulating various biochemical pathways in the body, as well as combating oxidative stress and damage, and inflammation.
2. Melatonin Benefits Stress Relief
Melatonin has been shown to both directly and indirectly relieve stress. The direct effect comes from its antioxidant properties and regulation of physiological factors.
Anxiety increases oxidative stress, which leads to an increased production of melatonin to effectively protect the body from oxidative stress.
Additionally, while its levels in the body remain elevated while sleeping, the antioxidant properties of melatonin helps the body detox and get rid of its stressors.
On a physiological level, body temperature, blood pressure, and hormone levels all increase during the body’s stress response. Melatonin serves an important role in the regulation of these physiological factors, which helps the body relieve its stress.
Then what about the indirect effect?
Melatonin indirectly relieves stress balancing the levels of cortisol for better sleep quality.
Research has shown that cortisol levels will be at their lowest around midnight. They will start to increase two to three hours after you go to sleep, and gradually increase throughout the night as you wake up.
This shows an inverse relationship between the production and release of melatonin and cortisol:
The two must remain in balance in order to ensure quality sleep. Sleep is crucial as a time when the body and brain detox and deal with stress, making it all the more important to keep your levels of melatonin in a healthy range.
3. Melatonin Benefits Your Eye Health
Research has suggested that healthy levels of melatonin may support your eye health.
According to a study published in the Visual Neuroscience journal, melatonin is synthesized within the retina. Our photoreceptors and retinal neurons have circadian clocks that help regulate the production of melatonin in the eye.
In fact, various parts of the eye have melatonin receptors including, but not limited to:
- The sclera, the white part of the eye that maintains its shape, and protects the intraocular contents
- Photoreceptors, retinal cells that respond to light
- Dopaminergic amacrine neurons, which regulate various important visual processes including those related to light adaptation, as well as transitioning from vision in low-light conditions to vision in well-lit conditions
- Corneal epithelium, the outermost layer of the cornea that protects the cornea from infection and structural damage to deeper eye tissues
This suggests to the researchers that melatonin benefits has a widespread ocular function. In addition, the cytoprotective properties of melatonin due to its strong antioxidant effects and antiapoptotic signaling function may help treat glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.
But wait, there’s more!
In an unrelated study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences journal, researchers examined what effects, if any melatonin has on age-related macular degeneration. This ocular disease is the leading cause of severe vision loss in the elderly.
Where does melatonin benefits fit into this? Well, it is well known that dysfunction of the retinal pigment epithelium may cause age-related macular degeneration.
The retinal pigment epithelium nourishes retinal nerve tissue and supports its health through the transport of molecules in and out, regulation of immune factors, secretion of hormones, and removal of dead cells.
Melatonin helps regulate the amount of light that reaches the photoreceptors, scavenges free radicals, and protects the retinal pigment epithelium from oxidative damage.
The researchers believed that the decreased melatonin levels in the elderly may be linked to retinal pigment epithelium dysfunction and, as a result, the development of age-related macular degeneration.
So, what were the results?
Of the 100 patients with the disease who were treated with melatonin, 55 of them were treated and followed up with for 6 months.
Of these 55 patients, 41 of them showed reduced pathologic macular changes as a result of melatonin supplementation.
It was concluded that daily supplementation of 3 mg melatonin may protect the retina and delay macular degeneration without any significant side effects.
4. Melatonin Benefits Chronic Pain in Fibromyalgia Syndrome
Melatonin has also shown potential in relieving chronic pain symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome.
So what is, and what causes fibromyalgia syndrome?
Fibromyalgia syndrome is marked by chronic, widespread pain and stiffness in the body, as well as sleep disturbances, fatigue, difficulties with thinking, concentration, and memory recall, and headaches.
Unfortunately, this condition lacks any specific cause. Nevertheless, it is believed that mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are involved in the development of the condition.
So, is there any research on melatonin being used to treat fibromyalgia syndrome?
As a matter of fact, there has been extensive research on that very subject. One study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences investigated the potential benefits of melatonin in treating fibromyalgia-like chronic pain symptoms.
Reserpine-induced myalgic rats were used because they were identified as being a good model for studying the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia syndrome.
According to the study, many clinical trials have shown that patients with fibromyalgia syndrome exhibited impaired melatonin secretion, which may be linked to their sleep disturbances and impaired sense of perception.
The researchers of the study believe that melatonin supplementation would improve the outcome of the pathological condition of fibromyalgia syndrome due to melatonin’s role as an antioxidant, activating other antioxidant enzymes, and fighting oxidative stress.
What were the actual results of the study, though?
To that point, the rats that received melatonin supplementation showed significant improvement in their voluntary motor activity.
Additionally, melatonin supplementation helped prevent alterations and atrophy in skeletal muscle, as well as significantly increase the expression of myogenin, which helps regulate muscle regeneration. As if that weren’t enough, melatonin supplementation also improved mitochondrial performance.
This is believed to come from melatonin being produced within mitochondria, which is a major site of free radical production. This means that melatonin has very potent antioxidant effects in protecting organelles and cells from oxidative damage, especially in comparison to other antioxidants that have limited access to these same organelles and cells.
More specifically here:
Melatonin administration supported the antioxidant response in skeletal muscle and blood serum, reducing fibromyalgia pain and symptoms. Furthermore, melatonin supplementation restored reduced levels of CoQ10, which helps regulate serotonin levels and depressive symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome. This, along with restoring other proteins, meant that melatonin was able to maintain mitochondrial homeostasis and increased the resistance of skeletal muscle to injuries.
These results have led to the researchers to recommend that melatonin should be strongly considered for improving outcomes in and/or counteracting mitochondrial-related diseases.
5. Melatonin Benefits Bladder Dysfunction
The fifth little-known benefit of melatonin is its potential in relieving bladder dysfunction.
According to an article review posted in the Current Urology journal, melatonin receptors are found in the prostate and bladder. Again, the antioxidant properties of melatonin come into play in the bladder. There, melatonin works to stop increases in the levels of malondialdehyde, which is a biomarker for oxidative stress.
Both test-tube studies and studies on human cells have shown that melatonin protects tissues from oxidative damage caused by free radicals and associated processes. It does so by reducing lipid peroxidation caused by free radicals, or reactive oxygen species.
Lipid peroxidation is the oxidative degradation of lipids, resulting in cell damage. Additionally, long-term melatonin supplementation has been shown to increase the expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), and decrease the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) within bladder tissue.
Why is this important?
nNOS are normal constituents of cells. iNOS are not normal constituents of cells, but rather are induced by specific cytokines or bacterial endotoxins. Under normal conditions, nitric oxide that is synthesized by nNOS and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) inhibits the function of the detrusor, which is a muscle that’s part of the bladder wall.
This nitric oxide also inhibits the activity of sensory neurons that carry neural impulses from the sensory stimuli towards the brain and central nervous system, called afferent neurons.
However, high concentrations of nitric oxide synthesized by iNOS can become both neurotoxic and cytotoxic. The presence of proinflammatory cytokines in inflammatory processes associated with bladder ischemia suggests the formation of reactive oxygen species. So, those cytokines induce the expression of iNOS.
What does this mean?
The expression of iNOS is linked to bladder inflammation. So, the free radical scavenger and antioxidant properties of melatonin may provide protective effects to a chronically ischemic bladder.
Melatonin supplementation has been shown to restore the changes in residual urine volume and detrusor overactivity that develop with increasing age.
In addition, melatonin supplementation has resulted in a reduction in nocturnal urinary frequency in elderly patients who have previously experienced frequent nighttime urination and obstruction of their bladder outlet.
Liposomal Melatonin Supplements Further Increase Melatonin Benefits
If you are looking for ways to increase your melatonin blood levels, you should consider a melatonin supplement.
More specifically, you may want to do some research on Liposomal Melatonin Technology. Liposomal Melatonin Technology uses micro sized fluid filled liposomes to protect and deliver nutrients directly into the cells and tissues of the body.
These liposomes are very similar to human cells, which makes it easier for them to be transported within the body. As a result, nutrient absorption is greatly increased, and there is less intestinal discomfort than with using standard oral melatonin supplements.
Liposomal Technology provides several different advantages, including:
- Micro-sized encapsulation that protects against the harsh acidity of the gastrointestinal tract
- Increased delivery to cells, tissues, and organs
- Higher absorption rates and bioavailability than other standard oral supplements
- Noninvasive compared to intravenous supplementation
- Lower doses provide the same effects as high-dose standard oral supplements
- Helps put nutrients to use by the body faster
- Prevents gastrointestinal distress usually experienced with standard oral supplements
Clearly, liposomal melatonin supplement deserves serious consideration for its potential potent antioxidant benefits.
Why You Should Consider A Melatonin Supplement?
Melatonin has many benefits, with several of them coming from its strong antioxidant effects. Most importantly, melatonin has been shown to have many sleep-related benefits, such as helping you fall asleep faster and for longer.
You should take the necessary steps to keep your levels of melatonin within a healthy range during the nighttime for overall better sleep quality and improved antioxidant protection.