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Melatonin is a hormone with pleiotropic effect, produced in the pineal gland. Melatonin takes part in controlling the activity of the biological clock by regulating daily rhythm and its secretion is dependent on the part of the day and night as well as the season of the year. The concentration of melatonin is higher at night, while during the day its level is low – light inhibits its production. This hormone has characteristic chemical structure, thanks to which it may cross all biological barriers, influencing at the same time other tissues and cells.
Melatonin biosynthesis takes place according to the daily rhythm produced by endogenous biological clock, which is synchronized with the light conditions of the environment. Biological clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), located in the frontal part of hypothalamus is responsible for producing melatonin biological rhythm. Among the majority of people, the peak melatonin value is observed between 2 and 4 a.m., however, these parameters are characterized by high individual stability a interpersonal differentiation.
Melatonin belongs to indoloamines and its production in the pineal gland is composed of many stages. The starting compound for melatonin synthesis is endogenous tryptophan, which by undergoing the process of hydroxylation and decarboxylation is transformed in serotonin. The subsequent reactions take place with the participation of the two incredibly important enzymes – serotonin N-acetyltransferase and hydroxy-indole-o-methyl-transferase (HIOMT), as a result of which N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine is produced, also called melatonin. Melatonin is then released to blood, is transformed in the liver and its metabolites are eliminated by the kidneys.
Melatonin drop with age
Along with the process of organism’s aging, the decrease of melatonin concentration in blood is observed. The level of pineal gland hormone is low after birth and then at the age of 5-6 it achieves peak values, after which it stabilizes between the age of 35-40 and after the age of 40 it starts to decrease. The highest reduction of the melatonin rhythm amplitude takes place above the age of 70, especially in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The disorders of melatonin synthesis are also observed with the development of neuropathological changes and improper lightning inside the rooms that elderly people spend a lot of time in.
Application of melatonin in chronobiologic sleep disorders
Chronobiologic sleep disorders include: delayed/advanced sleep phase syndrome, sleep-wakefulness rhythm disorders caused by quick change of time zones (jet-lag) and shift work, the disorders related to the length of daily cycle sleep-wakefulness rhythm other than 24 hours, sleep disorders in geriatric patients. Moreover, it has been proven that melatonin positively influences sleep disorders in blind people and children with mental impairment.
Melatonin-dependent antioxidant system
One of the mechanisms of melatonin’s activity makes it able to neutralize the excess of free radicals. It has been observed that melatonin may indirectly influence activation of superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase and it may also have a direct influence - by deactivation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen forms. Moreover, melatonin metabolites take part in the creation of melatonin-dependent antioxidant system and melatonin is also responsible for the stimulation of glutathione production – the basic intercellular antioxidant, which plays an important role in transporting electrons of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. These properties are responsible for the key melatonin function in hypertension and the protection of the cardiovascular system.
Help in reducing bone turnover disorders
It has been proven that melatonin may constitute an incredibly important element of therapy in case of bone tissue metabolism disorders. This hormone may indirectly influence bone turnover, regulating the level of many substances taking part in the processes of osteogenesis and osteolysis of, among others, calcitonin, estrogens, vitamin D3 or parathormone. Moreover, an important aspect of the reduction of melatonin level with age is highlighted here, which leads to the accumulation of free fatty acids and inhibiting the differentiation of bone marrow cells in osteoblasts in favor of adipocytes, which may be the cause of osteoporosis.
Melatonin and the production of other hormones
It has been noted that melatonin also plays the role in releasing other hormones, i.a prolactin, lutropin, follicle-stimulating hormone, thyroliberin and somatrophin and also adrenocorticotropic and glucocorticosteroid hormones. This property of melatonin makes it appropriate to use in order to regulate hormonal balance.
Summing up, SWANSON Melatonin is a dietary supplement, the benefits of which will be felt by people, who have problems with falling asleep and suffer from other sleep disorders. The preparation not only helps to “open the gates of sleep”, but also provides antioxidant protection, supports bone metabolism and takes part in regulating hormonal system.
Take 1 capsule near bedtime with water.
SWANSON is a well known company operating since 1969, which offers a wide selection of diet and nutritional supplements. Among their products are antioxidants, amino acid supplements, products improving immunity, probiotics, minerals and vitamins. At SWANSON you can also purchase of supplements enhancing your cardiovascular stamina, urinary, nervous and digestive systems. The offer includes products designed specifically for women or men, as well as supplements helping to loose weight.
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