Pineal melatonin regulates circadian rhythms and influences sleep. Melatonin also has protective actions against tissue damage from free-radicals and other toxins.
Evidence is presented that this indoleamine is involved in pre- and postnatal brain (and ocular) development and intrauterine growth. In the absence of maternal melatonin, short gestation infants have a prolonged period of melatonin deficiency. Melatonin supplementation, which has a benign safety profile, may help reduce complications in the neonatal period that are associated with short gestation. We believe that this treatment might result in a wide range of health benefits, improved quality of life and reduced healthcare costs.