Melatonin curbs several pathological features of COVID-19
Melatonin is a hormone synthesized in your pineal gland and many other organs. While it is most well-known as a natural sleep regulator, it also has many other important functions.
Melatonin Is a potent antioxidant with the rare ability to enter your mitochondria, where it helps “prevent mitochondrial impairment, energy failure, and apoptosis of mitochondria damaged by oxidation,” notes a 2007 review published in Frontiers in Bioscience. It also helps recharge glutathione, and glutathione deficiency has been linked to COVID-19 severity
- Research has also found that melatonin is important in several other ways:
- It plays an important role in cancer prevention
- Is important for brain, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal health
- Boosts immune function in a variety of ways
- May improve the treatment of certain bacterial diseases, including tuberculosis
- Helps quell inflammation
- May prevent or improve autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 diabetes
- Is an important energy hormone that can influence your energy level
- Helps regulate gene expression via a series of enzymes
- Has anticonvulsant and antiexcitotoxic properties
Melatonin’s Role in COVID-19 Treatment
Melatonin has also been shown to play a role in viral infections and according to a June 2020 research paper in Life Sciences journal, it may be an important adjunct to COVID-19 treatment. According to the authors, melatonin curbs several pathological features of COVID-19, including:
- Excessive oxidative stress and inflammation
- Exaggerated immune response resulting in a cytokine storm
- Acute lung injury
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
They point out that melatonin is also “effective in critical care patients by reducing vessel permeability, anxiety, sedation use, and improving sleeping quality, which might also be beneficial for better clinical outcomes.
”The scientific review paper, “Melatonin Potentials Against Viral Infections Including COVID-19: Current Evidence and New Findings,” published October 2020 in Virus Research journal, also summarizes the many potential mechanisms by which melatonin can protect against and reduce the severity of viral infections.